BAGHDAD: A post-election wave of attacks across Iraq, including car bombings in Baghdad and a northern city, killed at least 74 people, officials said Thursday.
The compiled death toll for yesterday, with the number rising to 74 after late-night attacks, made it the bloodiest single day in Iraq in more than seven months.
It was the latest in a protracted surge in unrest fuelling fears that the country is slipping back into all-out conflict.
The wave of violence could further destabilise Iraq as political leaders jostle to build alliances and form a government following April 30 elections that left Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in the driver's seat for a third term in power.
In Baghdad's deadliest attack, a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle rigged with explosives in the mainly Shiite neighbourhood of Kadhimiyah in north Baghdad, killing at least
16 people and wounding 52, security and medical officials said, on condition of anonymity.
Three other car bombs blew up in the Amin, Sadr City and Jihad districts, costing 20 more lives.
The blasts were the latest in a trend of militants setting off vehicles rigged with explosives during the evening, when Baghdadis go out to markets, restaurants and cafes.
Previously, such attacks had typically been timed to go off during the morning rush-hour.
Four others were killed in shootings and bombings in and around the capital.
In Mosul, one of the most violent areas of the country, twin car bombs set off by suicide attackers killed 21 people, including 14 soldiers and policemen, in the west of the city. Also in Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital, two other attacks left two people dead.
No group immediately claimed responsibility, but Sunni
militants including those linked to the jihadist Islamic State
of Iraq and the Levant often set off coordinated bombings
across Baghdad and other major cities.
A spate of other attacks in Kirkuk and Salaheddin
provinces, both north of Baghdad, left eight people dead while
shelling in the militant-held city of Fallujah, a short drive
west of Baghdad, killed three more.
The authorities blame external factors such as the civil
war in neighbouring Syria, and insist that wide-ranging
operations against militants out to sow instability are having
But near-daily attacks have continued and diplomats say
the Shiite-led government must do more to reach out to the
disaffected Sunni Arab minority to curb support for militancy.
The unrest comes as Maliki seeks to remain in his post
after April 30 polls which gave his parliamentary bloc by far
the highest number of seats.
But the bloc fell short of an absolute majority on its own
and he will have to court the support of rivals, many of whom
have refused to countenance a third term for Maliki.
Disclaimer: We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the NIE editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.