Wave of bombings kills dozens in Iraq
on 03/09/2013 18:31:20
Many of those killed were caught up in a string of car bombings that tore through the Iraqi capital early in the evening as residents were out shopping or heading to dinner. Those blasts struck seven different neighbourhoods and claimed at least 33 lives.
The killing comes amid a spike in deadly violence in recent months as insurgents try to capitalise on rising sectarian and ethnic tensions. The scale of the bloodshed has risen to levels not seen since 2008, a time when Iraq was pulling back from the brink of civil war.
The evening's deadliest single blast struck hit a row of restaurants in the largely Shiite eastern neighbourhood of Talibiyah, killing seven and wounding 28. Another car bomb hit the nearby Shiite neighbourhood of Sadr City, killing three and wounding eight.
At around the same time back-to-back car bombs blew up near a police station in the western district of Sadiyah, a mainly Sunni area, killing six and wounding 15.
Another blast hit a central square in the commercial area of Karradah, killing six and wounding 14.
Car bombs also struck shopping streets in religiously mixed Shurta, killing five people and wounding 12; in Zafaraniyah, killing four and wounding 11; and in the southern Shiite neighbourhood of Abu Dashir, killing two and wounding nine.
Coordinated car bombings and attacks on civilians and Iraqi security forces are a favourite tactic of the Iraqi branch of al-Qaida.
The evening blasts added to a death toll that had been mounting throughout the day. The city awoke to four bodies with gunshot wounds to the back lying in streets in different locations.
Their discovery was reminiscent of the sectarian violence that engulfed the country after the invasion and peaked in 2006 and 2007, when corpses were commonly found dumped on the streets.
Shiite and Sunni leaders have both called for calm, hoping to avoid a return to those days. But the bloodshed continues, with more than 4,000 people killed over the past five months alone. That includes 804 Iraqis killed just last month, according to United Nations figures released earlier this week.
Gunmen shot two other people dead in Baghdad's southern Dora.