Bombings kill at least 86 in Iraq

A wave of attacks killed at least 86 people in Shia and Sunni areas of Iraq Monday,officials said,pushing the death toll over the past week to more than 230 and extending one of the most sustained bouts of sectarian violence the country has seen in years.

Written by Associated Press | Published: May 21, 2013 12:35 am

Baghdad: A wave of attacks killed at least 86 people in Shia and Sunni areas of Iraq Monday,officials said,pushing the death toll over the past week to more than 230 and extending one of the most sustained bouts of sectarian violence the country has seen in years.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki accused militant groups of trying to exploit Iraq’s political instability to exacerbate sectarian tensions at home,and also blamed the recent spike in violence on the wider unrest in the region,particularly in neighbouring Syria. At the same time,he pledged Monday that insurgents “will not be able to bring back the atmosphere of the sectarian war”.

The worst of Monday’s violence took place in Baghdad,where ten car bombs ripped through open-air markets and other areas of Shiite neighborhoods,killing at least 48 people and wounding more than 150,police officials said. In the bloodiest attack,a parked car bomb blew up in a busy market in the northern Shia neighborhood of Shaab,killing 14 and wounding 24,police and health officials said.

The surge in bloodshed has exasperated Iraqis,who have lived for years with the fear and uncertainty bred of random violence. “How long do we have to continue living like this,with all the lies from the government?” asked 23-year-old Baghdad resident Malik Ibrahim. “We’re fed up with them and we can’t tolerate this anymore.”

The predominantly Shia city of Basra in southern Iraq was also hit Monday,killing at least 13 and wounded 40.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Suicide bomber kills 14 at Afghan province council

Kabul: A suicide bomber in a police uniform killed 14 people,including Baghlan provincial council leader Mohammad Rasoul Mohseni,Monday in northern Afghanistan in an attack outside the council headquarters,authorities said. The Taliban insurgency claimed responsibility.

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