Wave of bombings in Baghdad leaves 66 dead


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The Independent Online

A co-ordinated wave of bombings tore through Shia Muslim areas in and around the Iraqi capital early today, part of a wave of bloodshed that has killed at least 66 people and wounded many more, officials said.

The blasts, that came in quick succession, mainly targeted residents out shopping and on their way to work.

In addition to the bombings, the death toll included seven Shia family members killed when gunmen raided their home and shot them as they slept.

The attacks are the latest in a relentless wave of killing that has left thousands dead since April, marking the country’s worst spate of bloodshed since 2008. Waves of car bombings have hit Baghdad repeatedly each month, sometimes as often as twice per week. The violence raises fears that Iraq is hurtling back toward the brink of a civil war fuelled by ethnic and sectarian differences.

Today, insurgents deployed explosives-laden cars, suicide bombers and other bombs and targeted parking lots, outdoor markets and restaurants in predominantly Shia neighbourhoods of the city, according to officials. A military convoy was also hit south of the capital. The northern neighbourhood of Kazimiyah, home to a prominent, gold-domed Shia shrine, was the worst hit. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the day’s attacks, but they bore the hallmarks of the Iraqi branch of al-Qa’ida.