New wave of bombings in Iraq kill 20

Deadliest attack took place in Baghdad's Shia northern Shaab neighbourhood

A new wave of bombings has caused carnage in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, killing at least 20 people.

It is the latest assault by militants who have been fighting Iraqi security forces and allied tribes in country's west.

The deadliest attack took place in Baghdad's Shia northern Shaab neighbourhood, when two parked car bombs exploded simultaneously near a restaurant and a tea house. Officials say those blasts killed 10 people and wounded 26.

Authorities said that a parked car bomb ripped through in capital's Shia eastern district of Sadr City, killing five and wounding 10.

Another bombing killed three civilians and wounded six in a commercial area in the central Bab al-Muadham area, officials said. Two other bombings killed two civilians and wounded 13, police said.

The attacks come as Iraqi security forces are besieging two key cities country's western Anbar province after they were taken over by militants from al-Qa'ida's local branch, known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant.

Clashes have been taking place since Monday in Anbar's provincial capital, Ramadi, and nearby Fallujah between al-Qa'ida militants and pro-government Sunni tribesmen. The Baghdad bombings could be seen as an attempt by militants to distract security forces.

Tensions in Anbar have run high since December 28, when Iraqi security forces arrested a Sunni lawmaker sought for terrorism charges. Two days later, the government dismantled a months-old, anti-government Sunni protest camp, sparking clashes with militants.

To ease the tension, the Shia-led government withdrew army forces from the cities. Sunni politicians see the army as a tool of prime minister Nouri al-Maliki to target his rivals and consolidate power.

Violence in Iraq spiked in April after the government staged a deadly crackdown on a Sunni protest camp.

Iraq's al-Qa'ida branch has fed on Sunni discontent and on the civil war in neighbouring Syria, in which mostly Sunni rebels fight a government whose base is a Shia offshoot sect.

Militants have targeted civilians, particularly in Shia areas of Baghdad, with waves of coordinated car bombings and other deadly attacks.

According to the United Nations, Iraq had the highest annual death toll in 2013 since the worst of the sectarian bloodletting began to subside in 2007. The UN said violence killed 8,868 last year.

AP

Video: Fighting in Fallujah

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits