Accessibility links

Breaking News

Car Bombs Hit Shi'ite Areas of Baghdad, Killing Dozens

Residents are seen inspecting the site of a car bomb attack in the Karrada district in Baghdad February 17, 2013.
Iraqi authorities say a number of car bombs have exploded in predominantly Shi'ite districts of Baghdad, killing about 30 people and wounding around 100 others.

Sunday's attacks struck a series of outdoor markets in and around the Iraqi capital. Reports of the death toll ranged from 28 to 37 people.

The Shi'ite district of Sadr City was one of the worst hit, with three car bombings. Other targeted districts included Ameen, Habibiya, Husseiniya, Kamiliya and Karrada. Authorities managed to defuse at least one of the planted explosives.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombings. Minority Sunni militants linked to al-Qaida have carried out similar attacks in the past, targeting majority Shi'ites to try to re-ignite a sectarian conflict in Iraq and undermine confidence in its Shi'ite-led government.

So far this month, attacks in Iraq have killed at least 100 people, including the head of Iraq's military intelligence academy. Brigadier General Ali Aouni and two of his bodyguards were killed on Saturday in a suicide bombing in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar.

The wave of violence coincides with a political crisis which has seen the Iraqi government plagued by infighting among sectarian factions and pressured by almost two months of protests in mostly Sunni regions. Many Sunnis accuse Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of marginalizing and discriminating against their community.