05/28/2013, 00.00
IRAQ
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Baghdad, latest series of attacks leaves dozens dead and hundreds wounded

The car bomb attacks struck populated commercial areas with shops and markets. Suspicions fall on Sunni groups linked to al Qaeda. Nouri al-Maliki promises a more effective security. Fears of a new civil war.

Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 58 dead and 187 wounded is the provisional toll from a series of attacks yesterday that targeted Shiite neighborhoods of the capital. According to the UN, in May, the death toll so far is 450, last month 700, the highest in the last five years. The population fears a resurgence of violence similar to the days of the civil war.

Yesterday there were 19 attacks, of which at least 10 car bombings carried out in highly congested areas with markets and shops. The victims include many innocent passers-by and even children. A bomb exploded in Sadoun street, a commercial area in the center of the capital, others near the Shiite Sadr City; others in the new districts of Baghdad, al-Sabi Boor, Shaab, Hurriya, Bayaa, Sadria, Jisr Diyala, Baladiyat and Madain.

No one has so far claimed responsibility for these deaths and attacks, even if the suspicion falls on Sunni groups linked to al Qaeda, who want to hit the government of Shiite Nouri al-Maliki, accused by the Sunni community of  marginalizing them, for once being linked to Saddam Hussein.

Maliki has vowed to make step up security strategies, saying that the militants "will not bring us back to sectarian conflict" of the past.

Many religious authorities are trying to show unity and solidarity to tone down rising sectarian conflict, polarized between Sunnis and Shiites. Last week 70 people were killed in a series of attacks in the country. Objectives included even some Sunni and Shiite mosques.

 

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