Last updated: 29 August, 2013

At least 75 dead in Iraqi bloodshed

The toll from a wave of violence in Iraq, including attacks in the capital, rose on Thursday to at least 75 killed and over 200 wounded, officials said.

The unrest on Wednesday included more than a dozen bombings in the capital, with the deadliest attacks targeting Shiite Muslim neighbourhoods.

It was the latest in surging violence nationwide that has sparked worries Iraq may be sliding back towards the all-out sectarian war that killed tens of thousands in 2006 and 2007.

Overall, 71 people were killed in Baghdad and towns just south of the capital, security and medical officials said on Thursday, updating a toll from the previous day.

Four others died in attacks in north Iraq.

The bloodshed pushed the death toll from the month’s violence above 600, according to an AFP tally based on reports from security and medical officials.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but Sunni militants linked to Al-Qaeda frequently carry out such coordinated attacks targeting Shiites, whom they regard as apostates.

Iraq has seen a marked rise in the level of violence this year, coinciding with demonstrations by the Sunni Arab minority against alleged ill treatment at the hands of the Shiite-led government and security forces.

Though diplomats and analysts have urged broad-reaching moves to tackle Sunni frustrations, which they say give militant groups room to recruit and carry out attacks, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has vowed to press on with an anti-militant campaign.