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51 Iraqis Killed, Dozens Injured in Series of Attacks Across Baghdad

 August 28, 2013


Series of attacks kill 51 across Baghdad: police, medics

Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:30am EDT

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -

At least 51 people were killed and dozens wounded in a series of bombings and attacks across Baghdad on Wednesday, police and medical sources said, extending the worst wave of violence in Iraq in at least five years.

In one of the worst incidents a car bomb killed seven people and wounded 23 in Jisr Diyala in southeastern Baghdad, police and medics said.

A restaurant owner in Sadr City, a mostly Shi'ite district of Baghdad, described how a militant detonated a car bomb.

"A man parked his car in front of the restaurant. He got breakfast and drank his tea. (Then) I heard a huge explosion when I was inside the kitchen," the owner, who requested anonymity, told Reuters.

"When I went outside, I saw his car completely damaged and he had disappeared. Many people were hurt," he said.

Sunni Muslim insurgents and the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq have significantly increased their attacks this year. More than 1,000 Iraqis were killed in July, the highest monthly death toll since 2008, according to the United Nations.

More than two years of civil war in neighboring Syria have aggravated deep-rooted sectarian divisions and shaken Iraq's fragile coalition of Shi'ite, Kurdish and Sunni factions.

The renewed violence, 18 months after U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq, has sparked fears of a return to the scale of sectarian slaughter in 2006 and 2007.

In Latifiya, gunmen opened fire on six members of al-Sahwa - former Sunni insurgents who rebelled against al Qaeda - manning a checkpoint south of Baghdad. Gunmen also stormed a Shi'ite home in the same area, killing six family members, police and medical sources said.

In Kadhimiya, a district in northwestern Baghdad, two roadside bombs and one car bomb killed five people and wounded nearly 30, the sources said.

Four soldiers were killed and five were wounded in Madaen, southeast of Baghdad, by a roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol, police and medics said.

Iraqis have suffered extreme violence for years, but since the start of 2013 the intensity of attacks on civilians has dramatically increased.

Bomb attacks have increasingly targeted cafes and other places where families gather, as well as the usual targets of military facilities and checkpoints.

(Reporting by Kareem Raheem and Raheem Salman, writing by Sylvia Westall/Yara Bayoumy; editing by Sami Aboudi and Jon Boyle)

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