Bombs exploded across Baghdad on Monday, killing 38 people, police said, as suspected militants pursued a campaign to provoke sectarian conflict.
Eight of the 10 blasts in Baghdad were in mainly Shi’ite districts, but there was also an explosion in a mixed area and another in the predominantly Sunni Muslim neighborhood.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the vast majority of such bombings are the work Sunni Islamist insurgents often allied to Al-Qaeda who are seeking to destabilize the Shi’ite government and stoke up sectarian conflict.
Earlier The al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility for a number of rare suicide bombings in the relatively peaceful self-ruled Kurdish region in the north of the country.
On September 29, twin suicide car bombs killed Kurdish troops and wounded at least 30 others. Monday’s bombing comes after days of havoc in Iraq, which has killed hundreds and injured thousands.
On Sunday two suicide bombers blew up vehicles at a school and a police station in northern Iraq, killing at least 15, 12 of whom were children. While 14 more people were killed on a cortege of Shi’ite pilgrims in Baghdad.
On Saturday 72 people were killed in another raft of attacks, when a suicide bomber hit Shi’ite pilgrims who were passing through a Sunni neighborhood en route on a Shi’ite shrine. Another attack took place in a café in a Shi’ite neighborhood and in a separate incident in the northern town of Mosul two journalists were abducted and shot dead.
The conflict between Sunni Muslims and Shi’ites in Iraq has risen over the past year amid fears that the country is sliding towards a full scale civil war. The situation in Iraq has been inflamed by the fighting in Syria, which has drawn in fighters from both sides of the sectarian divide.