Car Bombs Kill 54 in Shi’ite Districts of Baghdad [Photo]
Coordinated car bombs exploded in several predominantly Shi’ite Muslim neighborhoods of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 54 people and wounding dozens of others. Altogether 14 car bombs exploded across the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. It was not clear who was behind them, but hardline Sunni Muslim militants who view Shi’ites as non-believers have been intensifying their insurgency this year.
The neighboring civil war in Syria, where Sunni rebels are fighting to overthrow Iran’s Shi’ite back leader, has placed a great amount of strain upon Iraq’s delicate sectarian balance. Al Qaeda’s Iraqi and Syrian branches merged earlier this year to form the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has claimed responsibility for attacks on both sides of the border.
More than 6,000 people have been killed in violence so far this year, according to the monitoring group Iraq Body Count.