In Iraq a wave of car bombs left at least 54 dead with many more injured according to officials.
The bombers struck in mainly Shi’ite neighbourhoods in the capital Baghdad. To date no group has claimed responsibility but Sunni Muslim insurgents have been blamed for much of the most recent violence. Analysts fear the country is lurching towards civil war.
In Shaab car bombs were placed close to a public market. A total of 14 exploded across the capital in what was believed to be a coordinated attack.
There is talk of contagion from neighbouring Syria straining the sectarian balance in Iraq. Both Sunnis and Shi’ites are known to have gone from Iraq to fight on opposite sides of the conflict.
Al Qaeda’s Iraqi and Syrian branches merged earlier this year to form the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.
The recent upsurge in sectarian attacks has spread to the north of the country. Security has been stepped up in the city of Arbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region. Six people were killed in a series of blasts targeting the security forces on Sunday. It was the first such attack since 2007.
More evidence believe commentators of the escalating situation.According to United nations data more than 5,000 people have been killed this year.