Monday's bombings marked the third day in a row that insurgents were able to unleash attacks powerful enough to claim fatalities numbering in the dozens. The mounting bloodshed is heightening worries that the country is returning to the widespread sectarian killing that marked the years following the 2003 US-led invasion. (Agencies)
A rapid-fire wave of bombings that rocked the Iraqi capital shortly after nightfall struck at least eight different neighbourhoods, according to police officials, who provided casualty tolls. The force of one powerful blast, a car bomb explosion in the Bab al-Sharji neighbourhood that killed four and wounded 11, rattled windows in central Baghdad.
More than 5,000 people have been killed since violent attacks began accelerating in April, including more than 50 Shiite pilgrims slain in a Baghdad suicide bombing Saturday and 12 children killed the following day when a vehicle packed with explosives blew up next to their school in the north of the country.
Amnesty International condemned the recent spate of killings as "a deplorable turn in the current surge in violence."
"These latest attacks are war crimes and are part of a widespread attack against civilians in Iraq that amounts to crimes against humanity," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, the group's program director for the Middle East.
Monday's deadliest attack happened when a car bomb and roadside bomb exploded in a market and nearby parking lot in the northern Shiite district of Husseiniya, killing seven and wounding 21.
Car bombs also hit the mainly Shiite neighbourhoods of Zafaraniyah, with four killed and 11 wounded, Alam, with two dead and 10 wounded, Obeidi, with five killed and eight wounded. Another bomb exploded outside a Zafaraniyah coffee shop later in the evening, killing three and wounding 10.
Confessionally mixed neighbourhoods were also hit. A roadside bomb hit a commercial street in Kam Sarah, killing three and wounding eight, and the eastern Baghdad al-Jadidah, killing five and wounding 14.
Another car bomb exploded in shopping streets in the mainly Sunni neighbourhood of Dora, killing four and wounding eight, and in the mostly Sunni area of Sadiyah, killing three and wounding 10. Earlier today, bombs targeting patrols of pro-government, anti-al-Qaida Sunni militia members outside Baghdad killed five and wounded 10, police said.
The militiamen are a frequent target for al-Qaida, which considers them traitors. Hospital officials confirmed the casualties. The authorities spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to brief reporters.
Monday's bombings marked the third day in a row that insurgents were able to unleash attacks powerful enough to claim fatalities numbering in the dozens. The mounting bloodshed is heightening worries that the country is returning to the widespread sectarian killing that marked the years following the 2003 US-led invasion.