More than 100 people have been killed in a wave of sectarian violence on the first two days of July in Iraq.
The death toll from Tuesday's series of bombings at markets in Shiite neighbourhoods has risen to 57, AFP reported. Most of the attacks were carried out in the capital Baghdad, the deadliest being a double car bombing in the Shaab district, which left 9 people dead.
The bloody start to July follows months of escalating sectarian violence that has left thousands dead and many more injured. Accoding to a United Nations report, 2,500 people have been killed in attacks since April. May was the deadliest month in Iraq since 2007, with more than 1000 people killed.
Political tensions have split the country along sectarian lines, with the Sunni minority protesting en-masse against the Shiite-led government of Nouri al-Maliki. This civil discontent has been the backdrop to a serious escalation in bombing and shooting attacks on mostly Shiite targets throughout the country.