BAGHDAD -- A surge of violence in Iraq continued Monday when 15 car bombs killed at least 50 people and injured more than 100, according to security officials.
Ten of the bombings were in Baghdad, mainly in Shiite neighborhoods. The targets included a hospital, a restaurant and markets. At least 34 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded, the authorities said.
Officials in the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, fearing that even more devices could be detonated, tightened security in Baghdad. Long lines developed at vehicle checkpoints as the security services searched cars for explosives.
Since the start of Ramadan on July 10, coordinated bombings and other attacks have intensified. That has revived fears that Iraq could return to the levels of sectarian violence seen over the last decade, after the American-led invasion in 2003.
While the violence is below the levels of the peak of the insurgency in 2006 and 2007, when the country moved to the brink of civil war, bombings remain common. As many as 700 people are believed to have been killed this month.
Militants among the minority Sunnis have been emboldened by the civil war in neighboring Syria, where the Sunni majority has been trying to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad, which is dominated by his Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiism.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry issued a statement urging resistance to the attackers' efforts to feed sectarian divides, plunge the country into chaos and paralyze civil life. Without going into details, it warned that the attackers were able to mount such coordinated assaults because they had political and sectarian support.
In Kut, southeast of Baghdad, two car bombs exploded near a bus station, leaving six people dead and about 20 injured, according to a medical official.
One of the wounded, Ali Numan, 33, said: "We got wars from Saddam, we got tanks and rockets from the Americans, and now with Maliki we have car bombs every day. Nothing has changed in Iraq, and nothing will change. People die every day."
Two car bombs detonated in Basra, in southern Iraq, killing at least three people near a market and wounding 14, a police official said. And in Muthanna Province, a car bomb exploded at a market in the city of Smawa, killing six people and injuring 19, according to a police official.
There was also violence in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, where attackers blew up a house belonging to an Iraqi Army officer, killing one person and injuring two.
Nine days ago, an explosion in the central Baghdad neighborhood of Karada killed nine people and wounded 17, the police said. That was part of a surge of violence that left at least 46 people dead inside and outside the capital.
Meanwhile, the commander of the Baghdad operations, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir al-Shammari, said at a news conference that the security forces had recaptured 349 of roughly 800 prisoners who escaped from the Abu Ghraib prison this month.
Yasir Ghazi contributed reporting from Baghdad, and Stephen Castle from London.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.