Agence France Presse reported this weekend that at least 33 people are now dead from two bombings that targeted a Shiite political rally in Baghdad ahead of Wednesday's parliamentary elections. The Sunni-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)  carried out the attack at a rally for the Sadiqun bloc, which is the political wing of the Shiite-linked Asaib Ahel Al Haq (League of the Righteous) militia . A car bomb reportedly detonated at the site of the rally, leaving more than 100 wounded in addition to the deceased. ISIL later released a statement officially claiming responsibility, saying it was “to avenge the league’s involvement in neighbouring Syria.  The attack was “in revenge for what the Safavid militias are doing in Iraq and Sham [the Levant], killing and torturing and displacing Sunnis.”
This latest bloodshed has heightened sectarian tensions to a new extent ahead of Wednesday's parliamentary elections in which the Shiite-led government is running for re-election. The Sunni minority's animosity toward the current leadership continues to escalate due to economic hardships and reported discrimination and lack of representation politically.
The parliamentary elections slated for this week represent the first polls since U.S. troops withdrew from the country in 2011.