Pilgrims targeted as sectarian attacks surge in Iraq

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Pilgrims targeted as sectarian attacks surge in Iraq

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Sectarian violence in Iraq has intensified dramatically with a spate of bombings that has left more 60 people dead. Four devices, hidden in vehicles or left by the road exploded in separate Shi’ite communities in Baghdad.

The victims in the Kadhimiya and Sadr City districts were mostly civilians going about their daily lives. Some 30 people were killed in the series of blasts that rocked the capital. Dozens of others were injured.

Hours later, a suicide bomber killed at least 38 Shi’ite pilgrims in the day’s single deadliest attack near Nassiriya in the south of the country. The blast was close to a police checkpoint.

Bloodshed has escalated since US forces departed leaving the country’s security in the hands of the Iraqi army. Sunni and Shi’ite armed groups dominate some areas and the government is struggling to impose its authority. Now parliament is gripped by factional fighting that is fuelling tensions on the ground