Middle East

Iraq violence: Baghdad and Baquba hit by bomb attacks

Scene of bomb attack in Baquba. 25 Aug 2013
Image caption The central city of Baquba was hit by at least four blasts

A wave of bomb attacks across Iraq has killed at least 46 people, police and medical sources say.

Worst affected were Baghdad and the central city of Baquba, which were hit by numerous blasts.

Violence during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which ended in early August, left more than 670 people dead - one of the highest tolls for years.

The rising level of casualties comes amid heightened tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

Sunnis say they are being marginalised by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's Shia-led government.

In Baquba, there were reports of four bombings, two of which were said to have targeted a Shia wedding.

Several blasts - car bombs and a roadside bomb - were reported in Baghdad, one of them inside a coffee shop. At least nine people were killed.

At least four people are reported to have died in a car bomb blast in the town of Balad, north of the capital. The blast happened as a judge drove past. He was among several others wounded, local police said.

Five soldiers died when their vehicle was fired on after being stopped at a fake checkpoint near the northern city of Mosul, according to police.

Several people were killed in different attacks in the same region, one of them a member of the Shabak minority who live close to the border with Turkey.

Sectarian attacks have killed more than 4,000 people this year, with Baghdad province the worst affected.

The violence has raised fears of a return to the worst of the ethnic and political bloodletting up to 2008.