Iraq has seen another day of bloody attacks on Sunday, with more than 40 people killed in incidents across the country. The growing violence this year continues to fuel fears of a return to all-out sectarian conflict.
Some of the deadliest attacks occurred in the city of Baquba (photo from July 2013), about 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of the capital, Baghdad.
Police and hospital officals said one explosion in a residential area there killed seven people and wounded 34 others. Another bomb that went off next to a wedding party convoy killed four and wounded 17.
At least four bombs reportedly exploded in the capital itself, with officials putting the death toll at 16 and the number of injured at 53. The blasts occurred in the afternoon and evening, marking a growing trend away from the typical morning attacks carried out in previous years to strike during the city's rush hour.
Military sources said that, in an earlier attack, five soldiers were shot dead by militants who ambushed their taxi in the town of Qiyara, some 290 km north of Baghdad. The soldiers were said to be traveling to join their units in Mosul.
Seven people were killed and 30 others injured in two explosions in the town of Madain, about 25 km southeast of Baghdad, police sources said.
A count compiled by the AFP news agency puts the number of people killed by attacks in Iraq so far this year at 3,600. The surge in violence has raised concerns that Iraq may be on the brink of the same kind of all-out sectarian violence that struck the country in 2006-2008, killing tens of thousands of people.
Much of the violence in Iraq stems from anger within the Sunni Arab community over what it perceives as ill-treatment by the Shiite-led authorities and security forces.
tj/hc (AFP, AP, Reuters)