65 killed and scores injured in Iraq bomb attacks
A coordinated wave of bombings tore through Shiite Muslim areas in and around the Iraqi capital early Wednesday, part of a wave of bloodshed that killed at least 65 people and wounded many more, officials said. The blasts, which came in quick succession, mainly targeted residents out shopping and on their way to work.
In addition to the bombings, the death toll included seven Shiite family members killed when gunmen raided their home and shot them as they slept.
The attacks are the latest in a relentless wave of killing that has left thousands dead since April, marking the country's worst spate of bloodshed since 2008. They raise fears that Iraq is hurtling back toward the brink of a civil war fueled by ethnic and sectarian differences.
Insurgents deployed explosives-laden cars, suicide bombers and other bombs Wednesday and targeted parking lots, outdoor markets and restaurants in predominantly Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad, according to officials. A military convoy was also hit south of the capital.
The northern neighborhood of Kazimiyah, home to a prominent, gold-domed Shiite shrine, was the worst hit. Two bombs went off in a parking lot, followed by a suicide car bomber who struck onlookers who had gathered at the scene. Police said 10 people were killed and 27 wounded in that attack.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the day's attacks, but they bore the hallmarks of the Iraqi branch of al-Qaida. The group frequently targets Shiites, which it considers heretics, and employs coordinated bombings in an attempt to incite sectarian strife.
The Shiite family shot dead at home were found in the largely Sunni town of Latifiyah, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad. Three children, ages eight to 12, were killed along with their parents and two uncles in that attack, according to police.