.
.
.
.

Third Baghdad bombing kills at least 31 people

A motorcycle bomb that killed 31 people marks one of the deadliest in a series of attacks that occurred Thursday

Published: Updated:

A motorcycle bomb that exploded in a secondhand market in Baghdad has killed 31 people, making the attack one of the deadliest in a series of bombings that occurred Thursday around the capital.

The blast hit the Iraqi capital’s eastern Sadr city district, killing dozens and wounding 51, officials said.

Meanwhile, two other bombs targeting minibuses taking home laborers at the end of the workday also went off in the capital. One of the explosions, also in Sadr city, was a result of a bomb attached to a minibus. The blast killed five civilians and wounded 14. Another minibus bomb killed four and wounded 11 in the northern Shaab neighborhood.

While no group has immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings, they are similar to tactics used by Sunni insurgents who frequently employ car bombs and suicide attacks to undermine the Shiite-led government.

Such bombings have increased as anger from the Sunni minority amplifies over its perceived marginalization and random arrests by the government.

Both Sadr City and Shaab are predominantly Shiite areas.

Last year, Iraq witnessed its highest death toll since the worst of the country’s sectarian clashes began to subside in 2007, according to United Nations figures. The organization said violence killed 8,868 people last year in the divided country.

Fierce sectarian clashes have pitted government security forces and Sunni tribal militias against a coalition of insurgents taking advantage of Shiite frustrations and occupying Iraq’s Anbar province since last December.

The al-Qaeda affiliated group and other insurgent organizations have taken control of the city of Fallujah and parts of Ramadi. Thousands have fled as a result of the violence.

(With AP and Reuters)