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57 people killed in a series of car bombs in Baghdad

by Staff Reporter
27 May 2013 at 16:20hrs | Views
At least 57 people have been killed in a series of car bombs targeting mainly Shia areas in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, the BBC reported Monday.

Many more were wounded as at least a dozen bombs hit busy shopping areas and markets in the city.

The violence comes amid a recent marked rise in attacks linked to growing political and sectarian tension.

It has raised fears of a return to the levels of sectarian violence seen in 2006 and 2007, in which thousands died.

One bombing struck the busy commercial Sadoun Street in central Baghdad. One bystander who saw that attack, Zein al-Abidin, said a four-year-old child was among the victims.

"What crime have those innocent people committed?" he asked.

Other neighbourhoods which were targeted include al-Maalif, where six died, and Habibiya, where 12 were killed, according to the Associated Press news agency.

No group has said it carried out the attacks, but tension between the Shia Muslim majority, which leads the government, and minority Sunnis has been growing since last year.

Sunnis have accused the government of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki of discriminating against them - something the government denies.

Mr Maliki has vowed to make immediate changes to Iraq's security strategy, saying militants "will not be able to return us to the sectarian conflict".

Monday's bombings come a week after more than 70 people were killed and many others injured in a series of attacks across the country, in what was described as one of the worst days for sectarian violence in Iraq for several years.

Baghdad was worst hit, with several explosions at bus stations and markets in mainly Shia Muslim districts.

Estimates put the number of deaths this month at more than 450 - the second consecutive month during which more than 400 people have been killed.

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Source - bbc