The Iraqi capital has been shaken by a series of bomb blasts that have killed at least 19 people. Around 10 died in the deadliest attack, in a market in central Baghdad, and some 70 people were wounded. A further nine lost their lives in two blasts targeting police and one aimed at a busy bus station.
The violence came as Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki criticised a US operation against militias in Bagdad, days after fresh warnings of civil war in the country. Many analysts see the crackdown as a tacit admission that a security operation in the city involving some 50,000 mostly-Iraqi troops has failed to curb the insurgency. Meanwhile in mainly-Sunni Samarra 10 people were killed and 50 injured after a driver detonated a truck bomb outside the headquarters of the Shi’ite-led Interior Ministry’s so-called elite commando force.