Wave of bombings shatters Iraq calm

A wave of bombings killed 18 Iraqis across several cities this morning, shattering weeks of calm in a reminder of the nation’s continued insurgency.

A wave of bombings killed 18 Iraqis across several cities this morning, shattering weeks of calm in a reminder of the nation’s continued insurgency.

Officials said extremists launched nine attacks in Baghdad and the northern cities of Kirkuk, Dibis and Taji.

At least 71 people were wounded in the rapid-fire explosions that unfolded over an hour and 15 minutes.

The deadliest bombing came in Dibis, near Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad. Kirkuk police said a parked car exploded in the Sunni Arab village, killing six passers-by and wounding four.

In Baghdad, police said roadside bombs and car explosions targeted security patrols and the nation’s senior health official, minister Majeed Hamad Amin, as his convoy was driving him to work.

Bystanders took the brunt of the attacks that killed eight across the Iraqi capital, mostly in Shiite neighbourhoods.

Mr Amin, an Iraqi Kurd, was not hurt in the attack on his convoy in the capital’s west, but two passers-by were killed and six people were wounded.

Two explosions in Kirkuk targeted a police patrol and the provincial investment official, killing three and wounding 21.

A roadside bomb in the city of Taji, just north of Baghdad, exploded as a security patrol drove by. One bystander was killed and three policemen were among six people wounded.

The explosions ended nearly a month of quiet in Iraq, where violence waned after the run-up to the Arab League summit in Baghdad at the end of March.

Overall, attacks have dropped sharply nationwide since Iraq threatened to dissolve into civil war five years ago, but bombings and shootings are still common.

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