May 21, 2013
Wave of Violence Continues in Iraq
New attacks in three Iraqi cities have killed at least eight people and wounded dozens more, a day after more than 70 died in assaults on Shi'ite Muslims, stoking fears of a sectarian war with minority Sunnis.
Officials say a suicide bombing followed by clashes between militants and Iraqi troops left three soldiers dead Tuesday in Tarmiyah, north of the capital, Baghdad.
Farther north, two car bombs exploded in Tuz Khormato, killing three and wounding 38, while car bombs in Kirkuk killed at least two people. Both cities are in an area that Iraq's Kurds want to incorporate into their autonomous region, a move the central government opposes.
Iraq is experiencing its worst sectarian violence since U.S. troops withdrew from the country in December 2011.
Monday's wave of car bombings and suicide attacks against Shi'ite Muslims killed at least 76 people.
The attacks increased the number of Iraqis killed in apparent sectarian violence over the past week to more than 200, including 70 who died Friday in a series of bombings targeting Sunnis.
In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney condemned all the attacks in Iraq over the past several days, saying U.S. officials have been in contact with "a wide range of Iraqi leaders ... to help resolve ongoing political and sectarian tensions."
The unrest has raised fears of a return to the level of sectarian fighting that left tens of thousands dead in 2006 and 2007.
Violence has fallen from that peak, but the United Nations said 712 people were killed in April, making it the deadliest month in Iraq since June 2008.