Deadly bombings rock Baghdad on eve of US invasion anniversary | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 19.03.2013
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Deadly bombings rock Baghdad on eve of US invasion anniversary

A series of car bombs and shootings in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, have killed dozens of people. The violence comes on the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the US-led Iraq invasion.

At least 60 people were killed and more than 160 wounded Tuesday morning in a wave of car bombings and assassinations in mostly Shiite areas across Baghdad. Officials warn that the death toll could rise.

Police officials said the attacks targeted mainly small restaurants, daily laborers and bus stops within a one hour period.

Ten car bombs were set off in total, including two suicide attackers, along with one roadside bomb and two gun attacks, officials said.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the violence.

Sunni militants have increasingly targeted Shiite civilians and government officials this year in an attempt to undermine Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shiite government. Thousands of Sunnis have been holding protests over the past three months to demand al-Maliki repeal laws they claim target their Sunni Arab minority.

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Deadly Iraq blasts

The attacks come one day before Iraq marks the 10-year anniversary of the US-led invasion on March 20, 2003. More than 100,000 Iraqi civilians were killed between when the invasion began and US forces withdrew from the country in December, 2011.

Following Tuesday's violence, Iraq's cabinet postponed elections in the provinces of Anbar and Nineveh that had been scheduled for April 20.

"The cabinet decided to delay provincial elections for a period of up to six months because of the security situation," Gaata al-Zobaie, a top official in Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission, told the AFP news agency.

dr/rg (AFP, Reuters, AP, dpa)

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