AT LEAST 20 people were killed by a series of car bombs in mainly Shi'ite districts of Baghdad today and 11 others were killed by attacks in the southern city of Basra.
Scores of people have been killed in attacks over the past week in Iraq as tensions between minority Sunni Muslims and Shi'ites who now lead Iraq have reached their highest level since US troops pulled out in December 2011.
Eight car bombs in mainly Shi'ite districts of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killed at least 20 people today, police and medics said.
Two car bombs hit Basra, a predominantly Shi'ite southern city 420km southeast of Baghdad. The first struck the Hananiya neighbourhood, near a busy market and restaurants, and the second was detonated inside a bus terminal in Saad Square, police and medics said. Eleven people were killed.
More than 700 people were killed in April by a UN count, the highest figure in almost five years. Relations are coming under more strain by the day from the increasingly sectarian conflict in neighbouring Syria.
Minority Sunnis, embittered by Shi'ite dominance since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by US-led forces in 2003, have also been staging street protests against Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki since December.