Sectarian bombings kill 29 across Iraq

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A wave of bombings has hit mainly Shiite and busy commercial areas in and outside Baghdad killing at least 29 people and wounding 104.

The attacks, mostly by car bombs, were part of a surge in violence that has rocked Iraq over the past months as insurgents seek to thwart the Shiite-led government’s efforts to stabilise the country.

Five of the attacks were carried out by parked car bombs while at least two were carried out by remotely detonated bombs. The deadliest was in the central Sadria neighbourhood, where a parked car bomb went off at an outdoor market, killing five shoppers and wounding 15.

Other attacks took place in Hurriyah, Shaab, Tobchi, Karrada, Azamiyah and Amil neighbourhoods, as well as in the western suburb Abu Ghraib. And in Baladiyat , an Electricity Ministry worker was killed by a bomb attached to his car.

The explosion in Karrada sent a towering plume of thick black smoke over the city.

Security forces sealed off the area where at least four cars were damaged by the blast and firefighters struggled to extinguish the fire. Four civilians were killed and 14 wounded in that explosion.

Outside the capital two commuters were killed and nine wounded when a bomb attached to their minibus went off in the southern city of Najaf, about 100 miles south of Baghdad.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attacks, but suicide and large-scale bombings – especially against security forces or crowded markets – are a favourite tactic of al-Qaida’s local branch and Sunni insurgents.

The surge of attacks followed a deadly security raid on a Sunni protest camp in the country’s north in April.

Since then, more than 5,500 people have been killed in attacks by insurgents in Iraq, according to the United Nations.