Seven bombs rip through Baghdad killing 26
Seven bomb explosions rocked the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Monday, killing 26 people and wounding 67, police and medics reported, as government security forces battled Sunni Muslim militants in the western Anbar province.
The bloodiest Baghdad bomb went off in the Shiite majority area of Abu Sheer in southern Baghdad, where a car bomb was detonated near a popular market, killing seven people and wounding 18, Reuters reported.
As of yet, no group has claimed responsibility for the blasts. But Sunni militants, some of them affiliated to Al Qaeda, have been blamed for the surge of violence that has engulfed Iraq over the past year. Some argue that Sunni extremists are using terrorist tactics to undermine the Shiite-led government and spark the return of an all-out sectarian war, according to Reuters.
Al Qaeda-linked militants and their local allies on January 1 secured control of major swathes of Iraq's Anbar province, including cities Fallujah and parts of Ramadi, exploiting the resentment among minority Sunnis against the government for policies they believe discriminate against their once-dominant community, Reuters reported.
Five of Monday's Baghdad bombs targeted Shiite areas of the capital, while two hit Sunni districts, according to Reuters.
Also on Monday, sporadic fighting broke out around Fallujah and Ramadi, where at least one militant gunman was killed and two were wounded, police said, Reuters reported.