Skip to main content

Car bombings highlight rising concern about security in Iraq

From Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
updated 11:14 AM EDT, Mon September 30, 2013
A member of the Iraqi Kurdish security forces inspects the site of a car bomb in Arbil on Sunday.
A member of the Iraqi Kurdish security forces inspects the site of a car bomb in Arbil on Sunday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: United Nations says such violence could signal new refugee crisis
  • Car bombings strike predominantly Shiite neighborhoods, authorities say
  • More than 5,000 have died across the country in 2013, U.N. agency says

(CNN) -- A string of car bombings in predominantly Shiite neighborhoods across Baghdad on Monday killed 37 people and wounded 155, adding to rising concern about sectarian violence across Iraq.

According to police officials, 11 bombs exploded in busy areas of the city and its suburban districts, including three bombings in the predominantly Shiite Al-Shaab suburb.

After several years of relative stability in Iraq, violence has been on the upswing of late.

More than 5,000 civiilans have died and 12,000 have been wounded in terrorist attacks and other violence in Iraq in 2013, the United Nations Mission in Iraq reported this month. The region around Baghdad has been the hardest-hit, the agency said.

The violence suggests that "Iraq may be moving back to a level of civil conflict that will amount to a serious civil war," the Center for Strategic and International Studies warned in a recent report.

"There is also substantial reporting to show that Iraq's violence is not simply the product of extremists and terrorist groups," authors Anthony Cordesman and Sam Khazai said in the September 9 report.

"Iraq's growing violence is also the result of the fact that Iraq is the scene of an ongoing struggle to establish a new national identity: one that can bridge across the deep sectarian divisions between its Shi'ites and Sunnis as well as the ethnic divisions between its Arabs and its Kurds and other minorities," they wrote.

Last week, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said it was increasingly concerned that recent sectarian violence threatens to set off a new refugee crisis within the country.

About 5,000 people have been forced to flee the recent violence around Baghdad, heading largely for Anbar and Salah Al-Din governates, the agency siad.

The country is still struggling to deal with more than 1.3 million people who fled from one part of Iraq to another to escape earlier sectarian violence, the U.N. agency said.

Funeral car bombings kill 53, wound dozens in eastern Baghdad

CNN's John Defterios and journalist Aqeel Najam contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Sat July 26, 2014
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
A picture taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. The World Health Organization has warned that Ebola could spread beyond hard-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to neighbouring nations, but insisted that travel bans were not the answer.
The worst ebola outbreak in history spreads out of control in West Africa. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
updated 2:08 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT