A series of car bomb explosions targeting Shi’ite districts have left at least 26 dead and over 80 injured in Iraq.
According to local officials a set of two explosions struck a busy market in Northern Baghdad‘s Khadimiya district at around 09:00 local time this morning (06:00 GMT). The first of the two blasts came from a car bomb at the main entrance of the market. Just a minute later, as people scrambled to leave the area, a second blast struck around 100 meters away from the first. In total 16 people are thought to have died in the two explosions, and a further 40 were wounded.
At round 10:00 local time anothe two car combs hit a vegetable market in the majority Shi’ite city of Hilla, located 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad, killing 10 and injuring a further 40 people.
Sectarian tensions between Iraq’s Sunni, Shia and Kurdish populations have been rising in recent weeks and months. The identity of the group(s) behind today’s attacks is not known, but the targets suggest that they were carried out by Sunni insurgency unhappy with the Shi’ite led government.