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Iraq: Violence kills more than 160 in four days

15th Jul 2013

BAGHDAD,  (Xinhua): At least 40 people were killed and over 137 others wounded in a wave of violent attacks across Iraq on Sunday, bringing the death toll over the past four days to more than 160.

A suicide attacker detonated his explosive vest amid worshipers in the Mosayab Grand Mosque in northern Babil province, some 60 km south of Baghdad, killing 12 people and injuring 25 others, the National Iraqi News Agency (NINA) reported.

Among other attacks, seven people were killed and 10 others wounded in car and motorcycle bomb attacks in Basra, some 550 km south of Baghdad, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The attacks came as Iraq experiences its worst eruption of violence in five years, a wave that has left more than 160 people dead and over 370 others wounded during the past four days.

The spike in bloodshed raised fears that Iraq is sliding back toward a full-blown civil conflict that peaked in 2006 and 2007, when the monthly death toll sometimes exceeded 3,000.

Also on Sunday, the fourth day in a row in which more than 30 people were killed in attacks, a car bomb went off near a market in Karbala, some 100 km southwest of Baghdad, killing five and injuring 19 others, the source said.

Another car bomb, the source said, killed four and wounded 30 others in Kut, some 180 km south of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, a car bomb and an improvised explosive device went off consecutively in Nasiriya, some 370 km southeast of Baghdad, killing three people and injuring 35 others, the source said.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the al-Qaida front in Iraq, in most cases, has been responsible for such violent acts in the country.

All of those attacks hit mostly Shiite communities.

Another blast, caused by a roadside bomb, struck earlier Sunday near a Sunni mosque in the southern Baghdad neighborhood of Dora, killing at least two people and wounding 10 others, local police said.

It was the second day in a row a deadly bomb went off in the largely Sunni district.

Meanwhile, police said that gunmen killed two soldiers in an attack on a security checkpoint earlier in the day in Mosul, 360 km northwest of Baghdad.

Hours later, a roadside bomb killed a municipal council member and his son in a town near Mosul. Gunmen in another region just south of Mosul also assaulted a security checkpoint, killing two police officers.

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