Middle East

Iraq crisis: Dozens killed in day of Iraq attacks

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionOne of the blasts happened in Tuz Khormato killing at least three people and wounding 22

At least 70 people have died in a wave of bombings and attacks in central and northern Iraq, officials say.

Two car bombs and a suicide attack at a market in the predominantly Shia town of Judaida al-Shat in Diyala province left at least 13 dead and 50 injured.

Car bombs targeting checkpoints later killed at least 24 people in the mainly Sunni city of Mosul.

Dozens of people were also killed in separate attacks in the cities of Kirkuk, Taji, Tikrit and Tuz Khurmato.

Iraq has been hit by almost daily attacks, raising fears of a return to the worst levels of sectarian violence.

Last month was the bloodiest in Iraq since June 2008, with 1,045 Iraqi civilians and security officials killed, according to UN figures.


The near-simultaneous car bombs in Judaida al-Shat ripped through the vegetable market in the town, which lies just outside the provincial capital, Baquba, 60km (35 miles) north-east of Baghdad.

"I was selling watermelon and suddenly I heard a powerful blast at the entrance of the market," Hassan Hadi, a local farmer, told Reuters news agency.

"I fled from dust and smoke when a second blast turned the place into hell," he said.

The area has seen frequent attacks: On Friday, at least 10 Iranian Shia pilgrims were killed by a suicide bomber in Muqdadiyah in Diyala, while at least 41 people were killed in a twin car bombing outside a Sunni mosque in Baquba about three weeks ago.

Later on Monday, a car bombing later in Taji on the northern edge of Baghdad struck near a fish market, leaving seven people dead.

In the evening, at least 24 people died and many more were wounded in a series of car bomb blasts targeting the army and police in Mosul, considered a Sunni Muslim-dominated area.

A hospital doctor told AFP news agency that most of the victims were members of the security forces.

A curfew was imposed after the attacks.

No group has admitted carrying out Monday's bombings, but tensions between the Shia Muslim majority, which leads the government, and minority Sunnis has been growing since last year.

Sunnis have accused the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of discriminating against them - a claim the government denies.