At least 47 dead in wave of car bombings, other violence in Iraq

At least 47 dead in wave of car bombings, other violence in Iraq
Residents and security forces inspect the scene of a car bomb attack in Basra, 340 miles southeast of Baghdad on Tuesday. Dozens of people were killed and wounded when insurgents unleashed a new wave of attacks across the country. (Nabil al-Jurani / Associated Press)

BAGHDAD — Insurgents unleashed a new wave of attacks in Iraq on Tuesday, killing at least 47 people, officials said, part of a surge in violence across the country that has raised concerns over a return to sectarian bloodshed. Seven militants were also killed.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attacks, mostly car bombs in Shiite areas. Al Qaeda's Iraq branch, which has been gaining strength in recent months, frequently targets Shiites, security forces and civil servants in an effort to undermine the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

Iraq is weathering its deadliest outburst of violence since 2008, with more than 2,000 people killed since the start of April. The bloodshed appears to be largely the work of resurgent Sunni militants such as Al Qaeda, feeding off Sunni discontent with the Shiite-led government.

The bloodshed accelerated after a deadly April 23 crackdown by security forces on a Sunni protest in the northern town of Hawija against the Shiite-led government.

The deadliest attack Tuesday was in Baghdad's northern Shaab neighborhood. Two parked car bombs targeted car dealers and a commercial area, killing nine people, including a policeman, a police officer said. He said 24 others were wounded.

In Baghdad's northern Shula neighborhood, a bomb exploded in an open-air market, followed by a second blast after rescuers rushed to the scene. Four civilians and two policemen died, a police officer said. Eighteen people were wounded.

Five civilians were killed and 16 wounded in a car bomb explosion in a market in Baghdad's eastern suburb of Kamaliya. A car bomb ripped through a commercial area in the capital's southern Dora neighborhood, killing four and wounding 15, police said.

In the predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Amiriyah, two civilians were killed and 12 wounded in a car bomb explosion in a commercial area. Three others were killed and 13 wounded in another car bomb explosion in the northern Hurriyah neighborhood.

Also Tuesday, clashes erupted at dawn between security forces and militants in Baaj, a remote northwestern town near the Syrian border, and left four policemen dead and five wounded. Police said seven militants were killed.

In another attack, a government-allied, anti-Al-Qaeda Sunni militiaman was killed and two others wounded when a bomb attached to their car exploded in the western Baghdad suburb of Abu Ghraib, police said. The pro-government militiamen, or Sahwa, joined with U.S. troops to fight Al Qaeda before the U.S. pullout in late 2011. Since then, they have been a frequent target for Al Qaeda in Iraq, which considers them traitors.

Also in Abu Ghraib, a car bomb killed three civilians and wounded six others.

Elsewhere in Baghdad, a barber was gunned down by gunmen in a speeding car, and a physician was killed by a bomb attached to his car.

And outside the city of Baqouba, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a tent where a funeral was taking place, killing four and wounding 17 others, Provincial councilman Sadiq Husseini said. Police could not say whether the targeted funeral was for a Shiite or Sunni family.