Attacks including series of bombings kill 33 in Iraq
BAGHDAD—Violence including an apparently coordinated series of bombings that struck central and southern Iraq on Sunday killed 33 people, sources said, bringing the July death toll to more than 370.
The attacks come as Iraq witnesses the worst violence since 2008.
More than 2,600 people have died in a surge in unrest so far this year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.
Iraq has faced years of attacks by militants, but analysts say widespread discontent among members of its Sunni Arab minority, which the Shiite-led government has failed to address, has driven the spike in unrest this year.
Sunday was the fourth day in a row in which more than 30 people were killed in attacks, and an average of 26 people have died per day in unrest in Iraq over the first two weeks of July.
Most senior politicians and religious leaders have remained silent about the wave of violence, though parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi did issue a boilerplate statement condemning the latest attacks.
A Sunday statement from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, meanwhile, congratulated Iraqis and the military on beating Oman to win the world military football cup, but did not address the bloodshed.
The deadliest attacks struck central and south Iraq on Sunday evening.
In Kut, a car bomb near a bakery killed nine people and wounded 42, while another car bomb wounded two policemen to the north of Hilla.
A car bomb also struck a market in Karbala, a city home to one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam, killing four people and wounding 19, while a car bomb in Nasiriyah killed two people and wounded 25.
And in the southern port city of Basra, a sound bomb, a car bomb and a roadside bomb exploded, killing eight people and wounded 35.
No group immediately claimed responsibility, but coordinated series of bombings are a favored tactic of Al-Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate.
Attacks also hit Nineveh province in northern Iraq.
Two soldiers were shot dead in Mosul, the capital of Nineveh, while a roadside bomb killed a district councillor and one of his sons and wounded another to the south of the city.
And a policeman was shot dead and another wounded in an attack on a checkpoint south of Mosul, while a roadside bomb targeted Nineveh police chief Brigadier General Khaled al-Hamdani’s convoy, wounding three of his guards.
In Fallujah, west of Baghdad, gunmen shot dead police lieutenant colonel and wounded two guards, while gunmen killed an army lieutenant colonel and a soldier and wounded another in Kirkuk, north of the capital.
And a roadside bomb near a restaurant northwest of Baquba killed two people and wounded three.
In addition to security, the Iraqi government is also falling short when it comes to other basic functions.
Iraqis are faced with severely lacking services, including power shortages, widespread corruption and political disputes that have paralyzed the government, with almost no major legislation passed in years.—W.G. Dunlop