The death toll in Saturday's attacks is the highest since July 20, when brazen assaults on two prisons near Baghdad plus other attacks left 71 dead.

Violence has been on the rise across Iraq since a deadly crackdown by government forces on a Sunni protest camp in April, and attacks against civilians and security forces notably spiked during Ramadan. The surge of attacks has sparked fears that the country could spiral into a new round of widespread sectarian bloodshed similar to that which brought the country to the edge of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

Police said the deadliest attacks took place when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into a residential area in the town of Tuz Khormato, killing eight people and wounding dozens, Mayor Shalal Abdool said. The town is about 200 kilometers (130 miles) north of the Iraqi capital.

Police said a car bomb exploded near an outdoor market in the Baghdad's southeastern suburbs of Jisr Diyala shortly before sunset, killing seven people and wounding 20.

Also in southeastern Baghdad, officials said a car bomb went off inside a parking lot in the mainly Shiite New Baghdad neighbourhood, killing three people.

Saif Mousa, the owner of a shoe store in New Baghdad, said he was sitting inside his shop when he heard the explosion. "My shop's windows were smashed and smoke filled the whole area," Mousa said. "I went outside of the shop and I could hardly see because of the smoke. ... At the end, we had a terrible day that was supposed to be nice because of the holiday,” Mousa added.

Another car bomb exploded in a busy street in the Shiite neighbourhood of Amil, killing three people and wounding 14, authorities said. They said another car bomb in Amil killed 3 people and wounded 14.

In the holy Shiite city of Karbala, police said four people were killed in a car bomb attack near a cafe at night. Karbala is 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Baghdad. Police said four people were killed and 15 wounded when a car bomb exploded near a cafe in Baghdad's Shiite neighbourhood of Abu Dashir.

In northern Baghdad, a car bomb hit a restaurant in the Shiite area of Khazimiyah, killing five people and wounding 14, authorities said. Police also said that five people were killed when a car bomb exploded near a cafe in Baghdad's southwestern neighbourhood of Baiyaa.


Latest News from World News Desk