A deadly suicide bombing in the Iraqi capital on Friday killed at least 25 people, according to officials. The bomber attacked a park popular with families, in the northern part of the city.
Police said the bomber denotated a belt that was rigged with explosives at a park in the Qahira area, north of Baghdad. At least 50 people were wounded in the attack, which is understood to have been one of the worst single bombings in Iraq in weeks.
The park has a number of cafes and restaurants and is popular with families. Across Iraq, at least seven others died on Friday in separate gun and bomb attacks targeting both Shiite and Sunni areas.
Attacks have been on the rise in Iraq since April, following a crackdown by security forces on a Sunni protest camp in the northern town of Hawija.
Protests broke out in Sunni-majority areas at the end of 2012 and are still ongoing. Iraq's Sunni Arab minority has argued that the Shiite-led government was failing to address its concerns, instead marginalizing and targeting their community with unwarranted arrests and terrorism charges.
Tensions between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq have been further inflamed by the civil war in neighboring Syria, where the predominantly Sunni rebel movement is fighting government forces.
The unrest has risen to levels not seen since the all-out sectarian conflict of 2006 and 2007.
jr/dr (AP, Reuters, AFP)