Death toll from a wave of deadly bombings across Iraq’s Baghdad Province has risen to 54 with more than 140 people wounded.
Iraqi security and medical officials said the Monday blasts mainly struck Shia-majority areas of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
The deadliest attack occurred in the Sadr City area of north Baghdad, where a car bomb tore through a small vegetable market and its parking lot, claiming the lives of at least a dozen people, including two soldiers.
The Sadr attack was followed by a total of 10 car bombs at outdoor markets or parking lots in the Shia neighborhoods of New Baghdad, Habibiya, Sabaa al-Bour, Kazimiyah, Shaab, Ur, Shula as well as the Sunni neighborhoods of Jamiaa and Ghazaliyah.
The bombings came a day after a bomber attacked mourners at a mosque south of Baghdad, killing at least 27 people.
Also on Sunday, six people were killed and 29 others injured when four explosive-laden cars went off outside a security directorate in the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Arbil.
So far, there has been no claim of responsibility for the attacks, but Iraqi al-Qaeda, which frequently carries out coordinated bombings against civilian and security targets, may have been responsible.
Violence has surged across Iraq in recent months, reaching its highest level since 2008. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said that attacks in the country aim to “reignite sectarian strife.”
According to the United Nations, more than 5,000 people have been killed in acts of violence so far this year in Iraq, 800 of them in August alone with Baghdad Province worst hit.