Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wave of Violence Strikes Iraq; Coordinated Blasts and Other Attacks Kill at Least 38; Shiites Are Targeted

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wave of Violence Strikes Iraq; Coordinated Blasts and Other Attacks Kill at Least 38; Shiites Are Targeted

Article excerpt

BAGHDAD * A wave of coordinated blasts that tore through overwhelmingly Shiite cities shortly before the breaking of the Ramadan fast and other attacks killed at least 38 people in Iraq on Sunday, the latest in a surge of violence that is raising fear that the country is sliding back toward full-scale sectarian fighting.

Violence in Iraq has risen to its deadliest level since 2008, with more than 2,800 people killed since the start of April. The spike in bloodshed is growing increasingly reminiscent of the widespread sectarian killing that peaked in 2006 and 2007, when the country teetered on the brink of civil war.

Sunday's explosions struck shortly before the evening iftar meal that ends the daylong fast during Ramadan.

In the deadliest attack, at least eight people were killed and 15 were wounded in the southern port city of Basra when a car bomb and then a follow-up blast went off near an office of a Shiite political party, according to two police officers. …

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