Baghdad area bombings kill 30
09 December 2013, 18:55
Baghdad - A wave of bombings mostly targeting Shi'ite areas in and around Baghdad killed at least 30 people on Sunday, sources said, as surging violence spurs concerns Iraq is falling back into all-out conflict.
The blasts, including half a dozen car bombings, are the latest in a months-long rise in bloodshed that has forced the authorities to appeal for international help just months before the country's first elections in four years.
Officials have pointed the finger at al-Qaeda-linked militants emboldened by the civil war in neighbouring Syria.
But analysts and diplomats say the government has not done enough to address underlying domestic problems fuelling the violence.
At least 11 bombs exploded from around mid-day onwards across Baghdad province, targeting mostly Shi'ite areas.
They killed at least 30 people and wounded 94 overall, according to security and medical officials.
The deadliest of the violence hit the Amil and Bayaa neighbourhoods of southwest Baghdad, with separate bombings killing five people in each district.
Interior ministry spokesperson Saad Maan gave a far lower toll for the Baghdad violence, saying that two people were killed and six wounded in the attacks.
Officially released death tolls are consistently far lower than those from other sources, and the interior ministry has sharply criticised media organisations for reporting figures higher than those it gives.
Attacks also hit areas outside the Iraqi capital.
The violence has forced the authorities to appeal for international help, and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki used a trip to Washington to call for the timely delivery of new weapons and increased intelligence cooperation.
France and Turkey have also both offered assistance.