More than 50 people have been killed in a wave of bombings in Baghdad. The Iraqi Ministry of Interior says more than 100 were wounded, after explosions rocked the Iraqi capital.
Earlier in the day, bombs killed seven people in the Anbar province of Iraq.
In Baghdad, civilian areas were targeted, including a market and outdoor mosques, busy for Friday prayers. The areas hit are all popular with the city’s Shi’ite population. At least 24 people were killed in the poor Sadr City neighbourhood.
One man caught up in the attacks thought the future for Iraq could be bleak. “The innocents are victims of politics,” he said. “We don’t know where politics is going to take us. In the worst case, it will lead to division between Sunnis and Shi’ites.”
Another mourned the civilian deaths: “The city is damned, 24 hours of the day. These victims are not military. They are ordinary people who came here to pray.”
Although no-one has yet claimed responsibility,
Baghdad security forces say that these attacks are retaliation for recent losses suffered by terrorists. A successful joint US-Iraqi operation on Sunday killed three high-ranking al Qaeda leaders. There were also a series of raids in which more than 300 terrorists were arrested and 19 others killed.