United Nations: A top UN official in Iraq has strongly condemned the series of bombings in the war-torn country, urging the Iraqis not to let the violence waiver them from their path to democracy.
   
More than 70 people have been reported killed and over 100 injured in a series of explosions that rocked Baghdad and the outskirts of the southern city of Nasiriyah on Friday.
   
The explosions follow the bombings in Baqouba yesterday which killed four people, including two children.    

The Special Representative of the United Nations' Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq Martin Kobler "condemned in the strongest terms" the bombings and has expressed concern over the continuation of violence in the country.
   
"I urge all Iraqis to remain steadfast in the face of those who are using violence in its worst forms to prevent the country and its people from succeeding as a democratic, stable, secure and prosperous nation", Kobler said.
   
The bombings, latest in a series of deadly attacks across Iraq in the recent weeks, have sparked concerns about renewed political and sectarian tensions, coming just weeks after the US troops withdrew from the country ending a decade old war.
   
Kobler said while violent incidents have decreased in number since 2009, the violence was not a matter of mere statistics and figures.
   
"These casualty figures are people – women and men, the youth of the country and its children.
   
"These are mainly civilians and one life taken per day is one life too many and this has to be stopped."
   
Kobler reiterated the need for all Iraqis to work together to end the hideous crimes being committed against the Iraqi people.
   
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had earlier in the week expressed concern about the continuing political tensions in Iraq, urging all parties in the Middle Eastern country "to work to resolve their differences peacefully through meaningful dialogue and compromise."
   
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the Secretary-General had said the ongoing issues could contribute to insecurity in the country, which has been hit by a series of recent bomb attacks.
   
"It is essential that pending political issues are resolved in a way that respects the constitution and its provisions for the separation of powers, the rule of law and an independent judiciary," the statement noted.
   
As the Iraqi Government starts the New Year with the complete withdrawal of United States troops from the country, Ban had said this is "an opportunity to further strengthen its democratically-elected institutions."

(Agencies)