Another day of deadly unrest has shaken Iraq, with another spate of car bombs and shootings. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has promised a shakeup of top staff amid fears of a slide back to the brink of civil war.
As Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki considered changes to the country's security structure, there was no let up in deadly sectarian attacks across the country.
At least 20 people died in bombings and gun attacks on Tuesday, with upper estimates putting the figure at double that amount. The latest bloodshed followed a day on which unrest claimed more than 60 lives.
Among the Tuesday attacks was a bombing close to a mosque in the Abu Ghraib district, near to Baghdad, which police and hospital officials said had killed 10 people and wounded 21.
In the city of Baquba, capital of Diyala province - north of Baghdad - three civilians were reported to have been killed when roadside bombs exploded. Three soldiers died in fighting with gunmen in the city of Tarmiyah, also to the north of the capital, with at least seven wounded.
Violence also hit two towns that belong to the oil-rich swathe of land that Kurdish leaders are keen absorb into their autonomous region.
In a Shiite Turkmen neighborhood of the northern town of Tuz Khurmatu, three fatalities were reported when two bombs caused extensive damage to some 10 houses. An attack near the city of Kirkuk, in which roadside bombs were detonated in a sheep market, left at least one person dead and some 25 injured.
Changes to the team
Al-Maliki signaled on Monday - one of the deadliest days in months - that he was poised to make changes to his security team, after a month of unrest that has killed 370 people. "We are about to make changes in the high and middle positions of those responsible for security, and the security strategy," he told reporters. Changes were already understood to have been put in place on Tuesday evening.
Ten years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, tensions fester between the Shiite-led government of al-Maliki and the Sunni Arab minority.
Sunnis, who held the balance of power under late leader Saddam Hussein, accuse authorities of discriminating against them through wrongful detentions and accusations of terrorist involvement.
rc/dr (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)