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Dozens Dead in Wave of Attacks Mostly Targeting Shiites

Posted at: 06/16/2013 1:33 PM

BAGHDAD (AP) - A string of apparently coordinated bombings and a shooting across Iraq has killed at least 40 people and wounded dozens more.

Most of today's car bombs hit Shiite-majority areas and caused most of the casualties. The blasts hit half a dozen cities and towns in the south and center of the country.

There's been no claim of responsibility for any of the attacks. But they bore the hallmark of al-Qaida in Iraq, which uses car bombs, suicide bombers and coordinated attacks, most aimed at security forces and members of Iraq's Shiite majority.

Violence has spiked sharply in Iraq in recent months, with the death toll rising to levels not seen since 2008. Nearly 2,000 have been killed since the start of April, including more than 170 this month.

The surge in bloodshed accompanies rising sectarian tensions within Iraq and growing concerns that its unrest is being fanned by the Syrian civil war raging next door.

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