BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A wave of car bombs exploded in mostly Shi‘ite districts across the Iraqi capital late on Saturday, killing more than 60 people, security and medical sources said.
There were a dozen blasts in total, the deadliest of which occurred in the Bayaa neighborhood, where a car bomb killed 23 people, many of them young people playing billiards.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for any of the attacks, but the Shi‘ite community is a target for Sunni Islamist insurgents who have been regaining ground and momentum in Iraq over the past year.
In the past three days, militants have overrun parts of two cities. On Saturday, they occupied a university in the western province of Anbar, taking hundreds of students and staff hostage.
Last year was Iraq’s bloodiest since violence began to ease from its climax in 2006-07. Nearly 800 people were killed in May alone, according to the United Nations, the highest monthly death toll this year so far.
Reporting by Kareem Raheem and Raheem Salman; Writing by Isabel Coles; Editing by Kevin Liffey