At least 10 car bombs detonated in Iraq on Monday morning, killing at least 55 and wounding more than 100. The car bombs were the latest coordinated attack in a wave of violence plaguing Iraq’s capitol.
While some reports said 10 car bombs were involved, Reuters reports that no less than 17 car bombs detonated in predominantly Shi’ite areas of the city.
The attacks marked some of the deadliest violence seen since Sunni insurgents stepped up their attacks last year.
Police and medical sources reported that the attacks were coordinated and were concentrated in cities and towns in Iraq’s mainly Southern Shi’ite region. The attacks happened mostly in busy streets and crowded markets, ensuring maximum damage.
The car bombings were the second in just one week that caused major damage and injuries. Attacks like these have raised fears that the country could return to a full-scale conflict. The nation is one where three groups are still struggling to share power in a stable way.
Iraqi forces have patrolled the nation alone since US-led troops left in 2011, but they are struggling to contain a resurgence of militant Islamists, including al Qaeda, which has been regrouping and striking back with a vengeance not seen in a long time.
Sectarian tensions in Iraq are also heightened because of the civil war in neighboring Syria, which has pitted Sunnis and Shi’ites against each other again.
The bombings on Monday took place in several cities, including Kut, Mahmoudiya, Baghdad, Sadr city, Habibiya, Hurriya, Bayaa, Ur, Shurta, Kadhimiya, and Risala neighborhoods, notes Al Jazeera. A relentless streak of bombings and coordinated attacks have killed almost 4,000 people in the country since the start of 2013.
All of the bombs in Monday’s attacks were hidden in parked cars and hit eight parts of Baghdad, along with other nearby cities. With last week’s violence and two mass-scale car bombing attacks in a week, July could turn out to be the bloodiest month in Iraq in years.
[Image by Jim Gordon via Wikimedia Commons]