BAGHDAD – A string of attacks across Iraq, including a coordinated wave of evening bombings in Baghdad, killed at least 45 people Monday as al-Qaida claimed responsibility for a recent spate of rare suicide attacks in the relatively peaceful Kurdish north.
Monday’s bombings marked the third day in a row that insurgents were able to unleash attacks powerful enough to claim fatalities numbering in the dozens. The mounting bloodshed is heightening worries that the country is returning to the widespread sectarian killing that marked the years following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
A rapid-fire wave of bombings that rocked the Iraqi capital shortly after nightfall struck at least eight neighborhoods, according to police officials, who provided casualty tolls. The force of one powerful blast, a car bomb explosion in the Bab al-Sharji neighborhood that killed four and wounded 11, rattled windows in central Baghdad.
More than 5,000 people have been killed since violent attacks began accelerating in April, including more than 50 Shiite pilgrims slain in a Baghdad suicide bombing Saturday and 12 children killed the following day when a vehicle packed with explosives blew up next to their school in the north of the country.
Amnesty International condemned the recent spate of killings as “a deplorable turn in the current surge in violence.”
“These latest attacks are war crimes and are part of a widespread attack against civilians in Iraq that amounts to crimes against humanity,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, the group’s program director for the Middle East.
Monday’s deadliest attack happened when a car bomb and roadside bomb exploded in a market and nearby parking lot in the northern Shiite district of Husseiniya, killing seven and wounding 21.
Hospital officials confirmed the casualties. The authorities spoke on condition of anonymity.