Bomb attacks kill 52 in Iraq

Two years after U.S. troops left Iraq, violence has climbed to the highest level.

Bomb attacks hit the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and a village near the northern town of Baquba on Wednesday, killing at least 52 people, police and hospital sources said.

In the deadliest incident, a bomb blew up in a funeral tent where mourners were marking the death, two days ago, of a Sunni Muslim pro-government militiaman, police said.

It killed 18 people and wounded 16 in Shatub, a village south of Baquba.

Two years after U.S. troops left Iraq, violence has climbed back to its highest levels since the Sunni-Shi’ite bloodshed of 2006-2007, when tens of thousands of people were killed.

Al Qaeda-linked militants are pursuing a campaign of attacks, mostly directed at state targets, Shi’ite civilians and Sunnis seen as loyal to the Shi’ite-led government.

Half a dozen car bombs exploded across the Iraqi capital on Wednesday, mostly in Shi’ite districts, killing 34 people and wounding 71, police and medics said.

The violence occurred amid a continuing standoff between the Iraqi Army and Sunni militants who overran the city of Falluja, west of Baghdad, more than two weeks ago in a challenge to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government.

(Reuters/NAN)

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