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article imageMore than 2,700 killed in Iraq violence up to July 20

By Ken Hanly     Jul 21, 2013 in World
Baghdad - Iraq is suffering a wave of violence so far this month that has already brought the death toll total to over 500 people. Much of the violence is sectarian-based between the Shia majority and Sunni minority.
On Saturday night (July 20) alone at least 65 died in a series of bombings. Twelve car bombs and a roadside bomb exploded in Baghdad. Another bomb exploded south of the city a police colonel and a medical official report.
The attacks appeared to be coordinated. The explosions happened just as Baghdad residents had turned out to shop and relax after the Ramadan iftar meal. Almost 200 were wounded by the explosions. Iftar is the meal breaking the daily fast during the Ramadan holy month. Estimates by security and medical sources now place the toll for 2013 in Iraq at more than 2,700 killed.
The Saturday attack comes just one day after a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a crowded Sunni mosque north of the capital killing 20. Neither side seems to consider mosques off limits as both Sunni and Shiites mosques have been attacked in recent months. There are fears that there could be a return to renewed sectarian conflict in Iraq that killed tens of thousands in the past.
Al Jazeera reports that two bombings early Sunday (July 21) have killed six people. One blast was in the market town of Taji that killed four people and wounded another 15. Another bomb exploded outside the house of a local Sunni leader in another town on the outskirts of Baghdad killing another two people and wounding four others. Al jazeera gives casualty figures of 46 killed and over 150 wounded in the Saturday wave of Baghdad bombings. The higher figures in another report may include attacks outside Baghdad but near the city.
Since Ramadan started on July 10 more than 250 people have been killed in violence according to an Associated Press count. Three soldiers were killed and two civilians wounded when an IED exploded in Mosul.
The violence in Iraq is exacerbated by the conflict in neighboring Syria which also pits Sunni against Assad's Shia-backed regime. The Shia-dominated government of Nouri Al-Maliki has also made the situation worse by isolating Sunni politicians and arresting some, alienating many Sunnis from the government. Al Qaeda is also making a comeback in Iraq.
More about Iraq, militant violence in Iraq, shia sunni conflict in Iraq
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