Blasts Across Baghdad Kill at Least 21

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BAGHDAD -- A wave of attacks in Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad killed at least 21 people and wounded 125 on Sunday, a security official said.

Four car bombs exploded in a market, a bus station and on a major road in the Sadr City district, killing seven people and wounding more than 30 others, officials said.

More people were killed and dozens were wounded when car bombs were set off in a market in Husseiniya, northeast of Baghdad; in the southeastern Baghdad neighborhood of Al Ameen; and in the Kamaliya area in Baghdad's eastern suburbs.

In the central Baghdad neighborhood of Karrada, near the Babil Hotel, a roadside bomb killed one person and wounded five others.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni extremists have stepped up their efforts to undermine the Shiite-led government and stoke sectarian divisions since the beginning of the year. More than 200 people have been killed in attacks across Iraq since January.

Sunnis, who are a minority in Iraq, complain of discrimination by officials and accuse Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and his political allies of seeking to monopolize power before the provincial elections this spring.

The government's arrests of a Sunni politician's bodyguards in December set off weekly protests in several Iraqi cities. But the protesters have rejected calls for violence and have distanced themselves from extremist groups.

world

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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