A series of blasts and shootings has brought the single-day death toll for brutal attacks across Iraq to 107 victims, including 13 Iraqi soldiers. With 268 more wounded, the attacks signal the worst outbreak of violence in the country this year.
On early Monday morning, unidentified gunmen attacked an Iraqi military base in the town of Udaim. The terrorists arrived in three vehicles and opened fire on soldiers, reportedly killing 13 of them, Reuters reports.
In one of the latest incidents, roadside bombs struck northeast Iraq, leaving 11 dead.
Two car bombs went off in Baghdad, killing at least 11 and leaving 73 wounded.
Seven bomb attacks also struck the town of Taji, North of the Iraqi capital, claiming 32 victims – 14 of whom were police officers – and wounding 48 more.
Another bout of five explosions shook the northern city of Kirkuk as well as the town of Hussainiya close to Baghdad, leaving another nine dead.
There have been other car bombs explosions, some of them close to check points. Police report an attack in Diyala province has claimed six victims, while five more were killed in the town of Khan Bani Saad.
Sowing sectarian strife
The coordinated attacks have mostly targeted Shia Muslims sites and locations, indicating a potential sectarian motive behind the freshest spat of violence.
Iraqi Al-Qaeda consists mostly of Sunni Muslim militants which regularly target a Shia-led government on friendly terms with neighboring Iran.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-appointed leader of the Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda, has announced a resurgence of terrorist activities in the country.
He said that al-Qaeda would embark on an operation called “Breaking the Walls,” which entailed missions to free imprisoned al-Qaeda members and a parallel push to reclaim territory they were previously forced to abandon.
He called for the support of tribal leaders to help the terrorist group in their fight to reoccupy key areas.
An unnamed Iraqi official shared with Reuters the attacks are intended to trigger a Shia-Sunni sectarian war in Iraq. “They want things to be as bad as in Syria,” he said.
Local officials have verified the deaths, but it is not yet clear who is behind the attacks.
The June 2012 has become the bloodiest since the American withdrawal from the country, with at least 237 people killed and 603 wounded.