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September 04, 2013

16 Killed in Attack on Shi'ite Family in Iraq

by VOA News

Gunmen have attacked a Shi'ite family south of the Iraqi capital, killing 16 people hours after a wave of bombings in Baghdad left at least 50 people dead.

Officials say the gunmen blew up two houses at the site after the shootings overnight in Latifiyah. Last week, gunmen in the same town killed at least five members of a Shi'ite family.

The bombings Tuesday evening targeted restaurants, markets and mosques in predominantly Shi'ite neighborhoods of Baghdad.

The deadliest attack took place in the city's Talibiyah neighborhood, where authorities say bombs in one or more vehicles killed at least nine people on a busy street.

The latest killings are part of a spike in deadly violence tied by authorities to efforts by al-Qaida-linked Sunni insurgents to stoke sectarian and ethnic tensions.

The United Nations says more than 4,000 people have died in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities since April, when troops from the country's Shi'ite-led government launched a crackdown on a Sunni protest camp north of the capital.

In July, the acting United Nations envoy for Iraq, Gyorgy Busztin, described the country as "bleeding from random violence." He warned the killings could push the country back into full-blown sectarian warfare.

Interactive Map of Iraq Bombing Locations