They were hoping that calm could be restored, but that has turned out to be overly optimistic. Almost 50 people have been killed in five explosions in Baghdad, dashing hopes that a curfew imposed over the weekend would halt unprecedented sectarian violence. At least 23 people died in a bomb blast at a petrol station, while 16 were killed in an explosion near a Shi’ite mosque.
More than 150 others have been wounded in the bombings. It was only yesterday that authorities lifted a 72-hour curfew intended to restore order after days of attacks claimed scores of lives. The trouble flared after Wednesday’s bombing of a Shi’ite holy shrine. Two British soldiers have also been killed in a militant strike on their patrol in the city of Amara. A third soldier was wounded. Locals were seen throwing rocks at patrols that arrived at the scene. The deaths bring the total number of UK troops killed in Iraq to 103.