A wave of bombings centered around Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad have killed over 70 people in the past 48 hours, and injured an unknown number of others. The rising tide of violence had continued for months in Iraq, imperiling the relative calm the nation has enjoyed in the wake of the years of massive killings sparked by the 2003 US invasion.
Today’s toll saw three US soldiers killed and several others wounded in a Baghdad attack, while another 28 Iraqis died and 72 were wounded. On Wednesday 43 other Iraqis were killed, chiefly in a bombing in a Shi’ite district of Baghdad.
Last month was the deadliest in over a year in the nation, and May seems like it may well rival that before all is said and done. The attacks have centered around Shi’ite neighborhoods and Shi’ite religious sites. The sectarian tension between Sunnis and Shi’ites has been rising, in part because of the violence and in part because Shi’ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki seeks to enhance the power of his ruling party at the expense of the Sunni and Kurdish minorities.
The US has sought to downplay the rising violence, even as the attacks are being used as a justification for attempting to delay the June 30 deadline to leave Iraq’s cities. The governments have sought to redefine the borders of certain cities in an effort to keep the troops in place while ostensibly going through with the pullouts.
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