At least 25 people are reported to have been killed and dozens wounded in bomb attacks in Shi’ite areas of Baghdad. The blasts are further evidence of an escalating sectarian conflict in Iraq.
There were four separate explosions. Two car bombs in the capital’s Kadhimiya district left 15 people dead. In Sadr city a roadside bomb and a device planted on a motorbike killed a further 10 people. Police say they found and defused two other bombs.
Later a suicide bomber targeting Shi’ite pilgrims killed at least 30 people and wounded at least 70 others in southern Iraq. Qusay al-Abadi, head of the provincial council in Nassiriya said the attack occurred at a police checkpoint just west of Nassiriya, 300 kilometres (185 miles) southeast of Baghdad.
Since the departure of US troops, Iraq appears to have fallen into a political and security crisis. Scores of people, mainly Shi’ites, have been killed in a spate of attacks in recent weeks.
Some areas are dominated by rival Shi’ite and Sunni militias. Sectarian tensions have also boiled over into a bitter battle in parliament, fuelling conflict in the wider community.