Wave of attacks kill 57 in Iraq
A series of bombing and shooting incidents Wednesday, mainly in the national capital Baghdad, left at least 57 people dead and 207 wounded in Iraq, Xinhua reported.
Three people were killed and 18 wounded when a roadside bomb went off near Al Shawwaf mosque in Yarmouk in western Baghdad Wednesday evening, while two people were killed and 11 injured when a car bomb exploded near a cafe in Adhamiya in northern Baghdad, police said.
A former Iraqi army pilot was shot dead by unidentified gunmen when he was shopping in a market in Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad.
A wave of coordinated attacks occurred in the morning when 12 car bombs went off in mostly Shiite districts in Baghdad.
In one of the attacks, a suicide bomber blew up his explosive-laden car at a police checkpoint in city's Hurriyah district killing at least three people and wounding eight.
A car bomb ripped through Baghdad's Sadr City neighbourhood, killing three people and wounding 17, while another went off at al-Doulai district in the northwestern part of the capital, killing four people and wounding 20 others.
Another car bombing in New Baghdad district left five people dead and 15 others injured.
In Saidiyah district in southern Baghdad, a car bomb explosion killed two and wounded 14, whereas seven people were killed and 21 injured in another car bombing in Baghdad southeastern district of Jesr Diyala.
In Baiyaa district in the southern part of the capital, one person was killed and 12 were wounded in car bombing, while in Shula district of the city, another car bomb attack killed two people and wounded 11.
Two more car bombs struck a crowded intersection in Baghdad's northeastern district of Shaab, killing three people and wounding 15.
Another car bomb exploded at a wholesale market in Jamiela area in eastern Baghdad, killing at least one and wounding 10.
In addition, a booby-trapped car detonated in al-Amil district in southern Baghdad killing two people and wounding 12 others.
A suicide bomber set off his explosive vest at a restaurant in Mahmoudiyah town, some 30 km south of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 15.
In a separate incident, gunmen broke into a house at a village near Latifiyah town, some 40 km south of the capital, killing seven family members.
Elsewhere, a roadside bomb struck an army patrol in Madain town, some 30 km southeast of Baghdad, killing four soldiers and wounding three others.
Two roadside bombs ripped through Tarmiyah town, some 40 km north of here, wounding five civilians.
In the northern part of the country, gunmen broke into a house in Qaiyara town, some 450 km from Baghdad, and shot dead a man, a police source said.
In a separate incident, a bomb planted at a house went off in Mosul, capital of the Nineveh province, killing a civilian, the source said.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the Al-Qaida group in Iraq, is suspected to be involved in most cases.
The authorities fear that the terrorist group and other militia could return to widespread violence, particularly as Iraq is trying to fend off the spillover of the escalating violence in neighbouring Syria.
The attacks came as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced Wednesday highest alert in the country ahead of any possible strike on Syria.
Iraq is witnessing its worst eruption of violence in recent years, which raises fears that the country is sliding back to a full-blown civil conflict that peaked in 2006 and 2007 when monthly death toll sometimes exceeded 3,000.
The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq recently reported that over 1,000 Iraqis were killed and more than 2,300 wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in July, the deadliest month in more than five years.