Baghdad blasts kill 17 as tensions rise

December 22, 2011 10:10

BAGHDAD - A series of blasts hit mainly Shi'ite areas in Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 17 people in the first wave of attacks on Iraq's capital since a crisis erupted between its Shi'ite-led government and Sunni rivals after the US troop withdrawal.

The apparently coordinated attacks are the first sign of rising violence since Iraq's Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki moved to sideline Sunni rivals, just a few years after sectarian slaughter drove the country to the edge of civil war.

Two roadside bombs struck Baghdad's southwestern Amil district, killing at least seven people and wounding 21 others, while a car bomb blew up in a Shi'ite neighbouhood in Doura in the south, killing three people and wounding six, security sources said.

More bombs ripped into the central Alawi area, the commercial Karrada neighborhood, Shaab and Shula in the north - all are mainly Shi'ite areas.

One roadside bomb killed one and wounded five near the Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiya, police and witnesses said.

More than 70 were wounded in the blasts.

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