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Bombings and shootings in Iraq kill 22 and wound 50

BOMBINGS and shootings around Iraq killed 22 people and wounded more than 50 yesterday.

The attacks in Shi'ite neighbourhoods and on security forces underscore how deadly Iraq remains, even though violence has dropped dramatically since a few years ago when the country appeared about to descend into civil war.

Over the past month, more than 200 Iraqis have been killed in attacks.

Yesterday's deadliest strike occurred at 9.30am in a Shi'ite neighbourhood in western Baghdad, where eyewitnesses said a taxi exploded outside a local market. Eight people died and 26 were injured.

Bombings generally are a hallmark of Sunni Muslim insurgents linked to al-Qa'ida, and Shiites remain one of their main targets.

The recent rise in attacks comes as the government is embroiled in a months-long political crisis in Iraq that has Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds calling for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to resign for sidelining his political opponents. The impasse has all but paralysed government.

Irish Independent