Iraq car bombs: At least 60 dead as rush-hour attacks hit Baghdad and nearby cities

Scores more wounded as surge of attacks revive fears of return to widespread sectarian bloodshed

At least 60 people have died in a wave of car bomb attacks which struck Baghdad and other southern Iraqi cities during the morning rush hour. It is the latest coordinated attack by insurgents determined to undermine the government.

A total of 17 bombs hit predominantly Shi'ite neighbourhoods within one hour, according to police. The deadliest, in the north-eastern district of Sadr City, where two bombs went off, killed at least nine civilians and wounded 33 others.

Police and witnesses told Reuters a minivan pulled up to a group of men waiting by the side of the road for day work, and the driver told them to get in before detonating an explosive device in the vehicle.

Yahya Ali, a worker who was standing nearby, told the agency: “The driver asked labourers to get into the van, then he disappeared and minutes later the truck exploded, flinging the labourers' bodies back.

“Somebody tell me please why poor labourers are targeted? They want only to take food to their families!”

Nearby buildings were also lightly damaged.

Ten miles away, in the Hurriyah neighbourhood, two more bombs went off, killing six bystanders and wounding 23 others. In the busy northern Kazimiyah neighbourhood, another parked car bomb killed four civilians and wounded 12.

And seven miles away, in the southwestern neighborhood of Bayaa, three civilians were killed and 15 wounded in another car bomb explosion. In western Baghdad in the neighborhood of Shurta, at least two other people were killed and 14 wounded.

In the southern Abu Disheer area, four civilians were killed and 17 wounded. Another car bomb struck in the northwestern Tobchi district, killing three and wounding ten others.

Blasts also went off elsewhere in the country, including in the nearby town of Mahmoudiya.

Back-to-back explosions killed at least 10 civilians and wounded 35 others in the city of Kut, 100 miles south-east of Baghdad.

And in Basra, 340 miles south-east of Baghdad, near the Iranian border, four other people were killed and five wounded when a parked car bomb ripped through a market.

The blasts continue a months-long surge of attacks, which are reviving fears of a return to the widespread sectarian bloodshed that pushed the country to the brink of civil war after the 2003 US-led invasion. Suicide attacks, car bombings and other violence have killed more than 3,000 people since April, including more than 500 since the start of July, according to an Associated Press count.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but they bore the hallmarks of al-Qa'ida's Iraqi arm. The group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq, frequently sets off such coordinated blasts in an effort to break Iraqis' confidence in the Shi'ite-led government.

Suggested Topics
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Sport
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Life and Style
i100

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

NQT Teachers

Negotiable: Randstad Education Crawley: Randstad Education can provide you wit...

MATHS TEACHER, PERMANENT VACANCY, TONBRIDGE SCHOOL

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education is currently ...

HR Advisor - HR Officer - Employment Law - East London - £25000

£25000 per annum + 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: *** HR Advisor - HR Office...

ENGLISH TEACHER, FULL TIME SUPPLY ROLE, DOVER SCHOOL

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: TEACHER OF ENGLISH NEEDED for lo...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week