Bombs targeting cafes in Baghdad and a restive city north of the capital have killed 11 people, officials said on Friday, the latest violence to sparked concern of a revival of all-out sectarian war.
The blasts on Thursday evening struck a cafe in a mostly Sunni neighbourhood of Baghdad and one in the central city of Baquba and come as Iraq grapples with a long-standing political deadlock and months of protests by the country’s Sunni minority.
In Baquba, one of Iraq’s most violent cities, a car bomb went off near a cafe in the centre of the city and, when onlookers gathered to inspect the damage, a roadside bomb went off.
In all, 10 people were killed and 35 wounded, security and medical officials said.
Also on Thursday evening, in Baghdad’s predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiyah, an explosion near another cafe killed one person and wounded nine others.
Iraq has seen increased levels of violence since the beginning of the year. They coincide with protests by the country’s Sunni Arab minority, which alleges it is being unfairly targeted by the Shiite-led authorities.
Analysts say a failure by the government to address the underlying causes of the demonstrations has given militant groups both a recruitment platform and room to maneuver.
Café attacks in Iraq kill eleven