The United Nations estimates that 700 people were killed in Iraq in April – the highest figure in almost five years.
Tensions between Iraq’s Sunni minority and Shi’ites, who lead the government, have reached their highest level since US troops pulled out in December 2011.
At least 20 people were killed by a series of car bombings in the capital, Baghdad on May 20.
Police say the eight blasts mainly targeted Shi’ite neighbourhoods. Scores of people were injured.
In Basra, a predominantly Shi’ite city in the south, at least 14 people were killed by two car bombs – also on May 20.