July 22, 2013 in Nation/World

Blasts, shootings rock Iraq

Coordinated wave of violence includes attacks on two prisons
Qassim Abdul-Zahra Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Civilians inspect the aftermath of a car bomb attack in the neighborhood of Tobjee in Baghdad on Sunday. A coordinated wave of seven car bombs tore through bustling commercial streets Saturday night in Shiite areas of Baghdad, killing more than 70.
(Full-size photo)

BAGHDAD – Bombings and shootings in Iraq killed 13 people on Sunday, as the death toll from a coordinated wave of late-night car bombings and other attacks the day before jumped past 70, authorities said.

The explosions were the latest in a relentless surge in bloodshed that has rocked Iraq since the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on July 10. They follow months of surging violence across the country that is raising fears of a return to the widespread sectarian killing that pushed the country to the brink of civil war after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

In another sign of the deteriorating security situation, insurgents detonated two bombs outside Taji prison, 12 miles north of Baghdad. Then they lobbed mortar shells at the compound before opening fire on prison guards as rioting inmates set fire to blankets and furniture, according to police. Police said prison guards were eventually able to restore order.

Gunmen also clashed with guards at a prison in Abu Ghraib in Baghdad’s western suburbs, police said.

No casualties were reported in either of the evening prison attacks.

Earlier in the day, a bomb exploded in a fish market in Taji, killing four and wounding 15, according to police.

Another bomb exploded outside the house of an anti-al-Qaida Sunni militia leader in the town of Basmaiya, killing two and wounding four. The town is about 25 miles southeast of the Iraqi capital.

The deadliest of Sunday’s attacks came in the afternoon, when gunmen attacked a checkpoint manned by the Kurdish security forces known as peshmerga near Kirkuk, killing five of them. The oil-rich city is 180 miles north of Baghdad.

Gunmen also sprayed a security checkpoint with bullets in the restive city of Mosul in the north, killing two soldiers.

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