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Attacks targeting Iraqi security forces and Shiite areas leave scores dead

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
updated 11:35 PM EDT, Sun September 9, 2012
A picture shows damage after a bomb blast in Nasiriya, 305 km (190 miles) south of Baghdad on Sunday.
A picture shows damage after a bomb blast in Nasiriya, 305 km (190 miles) south of Baghdad on Sunday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: U.S. Embassy condemns "heinous," "terrorist attacks" targeting "innocent" people
  • At least 79 are killed and about 270 are wounded Sunday, officials say
  • 33 die in car bombings targeting public places around Baghdad
  • In Falluja and Abu Ghraib, gunmen shoot soldiers to death

Baghdad (CNN) -- At least 79 people were killed and roughly 270 others wounded Sunday in a fresh wave of violence largely targeting Iraqi security forces and predominantly Shiite areas, government officials said.

The blasts and shootings across Iraq come on the heels of a particularly brutal few recent weeks in the Middle Eastern nation. More than 70 Iraqi security force members, for instance, were killed last month, according to the Interior Ministry.

"I strongly condemn the heinous attacks and the senseless violence that, once again, have claimed dozens of lives," the United Nations' special representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, said in a statement Sunday.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad also released a statement late Sunday condemning what it called "terrorist attacks that targeted innocent men, women and children across Iraq today," calling them "heinous acts (that) targeted Iraqi communities indiscriminately."

Few parts of Iraq were immune to violence Sunday. Here is a breakdown, according to officials with the Iraqi Interior Ministry:

Baghdad

A car bomb exploded in an outdoor market in the Nahrawan district in southeastern Baghdad, killing one civilian Sunday evening.

Iraqis on Sunday inspect the site of a blast about 15 kilometers (nine miles) from the northern city of Kirkuk.
Iraqis on Sunday inspect the site of a blast about 15 kilometers (nine miles) from the northern city of Kirkuk.

In the al-Shulaa neighborhood in northwestern Baghdad, a car bomb exploded outside a popular restaurant, killing five people and wounding 38 others.

I strongly condemn the heinous attacks and the senseless violence that, once again, have claimed dozens of lives
Martin Kobler, U.N. special representative for Iraq

In the al-Washash neighborhood in northwestern Baghdad, a car bomb exploded at the entrance of an outdoor market, killing seven people and wounding 21 others.

A car bomb exploded in an outdoor market in the al-Hurriya neighborhood in northwestern Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 14 others.

And in Sadr City, a largely poor and predominantly Shiite area in eastern Baghdad, at least 13 died and 43 were wounded after a car bomb exploded outside a popular coffee shop in Al-Falah Square. Earlier, officials reported two dead in this blast.

Four were killed by yet another car bombing in a busy square in another predominantly Shiite neighborhood, this one in the southeastern part of the Iraqi capital.

Amara

Two car bombs exploded in central Amara, killing two people and wounding 10 others, according to two officials with the Iraqi Interior Ministry.

The attacks took place on a busy commercial street, the officials said.

Kirkuk

A car bomb targeting a police recruitment center killed eight people and wounded 36 others, officials said.

In another attack, two blasts -- from car and roadside bombs -- hit the intelligence headquarters, killing eight and wounding 50 others.

A car bomb and a roadside bomb in the town of Tuz-Kurmato targeted Iraqi security forces, killing three people and wounding 11 others, officials said.

Tikrit

Gunmen targeted an army checkpoint that leads to a military base, killing four Iraqi soldiers, the Interior Ministry said.

Afterward, the gunmen planted homemade bombs at the checkpoint. When more Iraqi soldiers arrived at the scene to investigate, several of the devices detonated, killing seven soldiers and wounding seven more, Interior Ministry officials said.

Western Basra

A car bomb exploded at an outdoor market, killing three people, the Interior Ministry said. The blast, which took place near an army checkpoint, also wounded 25 people.

Taji

Car bombs exploded in three separate locations, killing one and wounding seven.

Nasiriya

Two bombs exploded on a busy commercial street, killing six people and wounding 10 others, the Interior Ministry said.

The bombings took place near the French Consulate, security officials said, adding that they did not know whether the consulate was targeted.

Falluja

Gunmen shot dead an Iraqi soldier at a checkpoint in central Falluja, officials said.

Abu Ghraib

Gunmen attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint and killed three soldiers, officials said.

Recent attacks

Last week, gunmen killed at least five police officers in the city of Ramadi, police said.

Iraq has battled political infighting among Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, raising worries that the political conflict will return to the level of violence that nearly tore the country apart in 2006.

While violence has decreased since the height of the U.S.-led war in 2005 and 2006, there has been a sharp escalation in attacks in recent months. In July, the number of dead hit a two-year peak with 325 deaths reported, according to the Interior Ministry. That's the deadliest single month since August 2010, it said.

Baghdad's Shiite-dominated government has blamed the recent attacks on Sunni insurgents with ties to al Qaeda.

U.S. troops completed their withdrawal from Iraq in December.

CNN's Chelsea J. Carter and Josh Levs contributed to this report.

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