A new wave of car bombs hit Shia neighbourhoods of Baghdad and a suicide bomber targeted soldiers in a northern city in attacks that killed at least 66 across Iraq on Sunday,officials said.
Co-ordinated bombing onslaughts killing scores of people have hit Iraq multiple times each month since April,feeding a spike in bloodshed that has left over 5,000 dead since April. The local branch of al-Qaeda often takes responsibility,although there was no immediate claim for Sundays blasts.
Four police officers said the bombs in the capital,placed in parked cars and detonated over a half-hour,targeted commercial areas and parking lots,killing 42.
The deadliest blast was in the southeastern Nahrwan district where two car bombs exploded simultaneously,killing seven and wounding 15 others. Two other explosions hit the northern Shaab and southern Abu Dshir neighbourhoods,each of which killed six people. Other blasts hit the neighbourhoods of Mashtal,Baladiyat and Ur in eastern Baghdad,the southwestern Bayaa and the northern Sab al-Bor and Hurriyah districts.
Meanwhile,in the northern city of Mosul,a suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden car into a group of soldiers as they were sealing off a street leading to a bank where troops were receiving salaries,killing 14 including five civilians,a police officer said. At least 30 people were wounded,he added.
Former insurgent stronghold Mosul is located about 360 kilometers northwest of Baghdad.
Such systematic attacks are a favourite tactic of al-Qaedas local branch. It frequently targets civilians in markets,cafes and commercial streets in Shia areas in an attempt to undermine confidence in the government,as well as members of the security forces.
Seven medical officials confirmed the casualty figures.
At Mashtal in Baghdad,police and army forces sealed off the scene as ambulances rushed to pick up the wounded where pools of blood covered the pavement. The force of the explosion damaged number of cars and shops. At one restaurant,wooden benches were overturned and broken eggs were scattered on the ground. In Shaab,a crane lifted away at least 12 charred cars as cleaners swept away debris.