Baghdad car bomb kills 11, injures 31

Published August 26th, 2014 - 12:34 GMT

In a fresh wave of sectarian violence in Baghdad, at least 11 people were killed when a parked car exploded during morning rush hour Tuesday in the capital's main commericial district of New Baghdad, according to the AP.

In additional to 11 fatalities, the AP said medical sources confirmed 31 other injuries. 

Violence has gripped Baghdad since internationally-backed shift into a Shiite-led government has spurred sectarian tensions and national unease as Sunni militants have spread across large swaths of northern and eastern parts of the country. The bombing follows Monday's country-wide attacks on Shiite-heavy areas in which at least 58 people have been killed so far. The AP reported 15 were killed in a suicide attack on a Shiite mosque, also in the New Baghdad district. 

While ISIS militants control large areas of eastern and northern Iraq, the capital struggles to hold down other Sunni insurgent groups suspected to be behind the latest bomb attacks. 

Since an aggressive offensive in June, the extremist group has expelled religious minorities in the east and north, and left Kurdish peshmurga troops straining to remain in control. 

Amid the new placement of Shiite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Iraq's latest struggle has been in the capital, where Shiite and Sunni leaders have failed to take important steps toward unifying a strained governement relationship. As ISIS militants grow stronger, the country now faces its worst crisis since U.S. withrawal in 2011. 

Sources say deep divides are still left over from past prime minister Nour al-Maliki's reign, when Sunni-dense areas like Mosul were heavily patrolled, and Shiite allies were overwhelmingly favored for ministerial roles and country-resource control.  To create a government strong enough to fight off ISIS advances, Abadi must convince Iraq's Sunni and tribal leadership that his reign will not be one divided by sectarian priviledge. 


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