More than 60 people have been killed in Iraq in the last two days – the worst wave of violence in months.
A suicide bomber killed himself and at least eleven others in the Doura district of southern Baghdad. Three American soldiers were among the dead.
Another bomber disguised as a member of the security forces killed at least seven members of an anti-al Qaeda paramilitary force in the northern city of Kirkuk. They were queueing for their wages when the attacker joined them and blew himself up.
The wave of attacks is a blow to hopes that Iraqi security forces were beginning to enforce law and order across the country. A general feeling of improved security had convinced the US and its allies that they could go ahead with plans to fully withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011.
The surge in violence, mainly against Shi’ite targets, has raised serious questions about Iraq’s ability to police itself without US help.