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61 killed in latest wave of Iraq attacks

By Lateef Mungin and Jomana Karadsheh, CNN
updated 5:09 PM EST, Wed January 15, 2014
Iraqis gather at the site of a car bombing in central Baghdad on Wednesday.
Iraqis gather at the site of a car bombing in central Baghdad on Wednesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: At least 61 people have been killed across Iraq on Wednesday
  • Seven car bombs, two roadside bombs explode in Baghdad, targeting mainly Shiite areas
  • Iraq is seeing a recent uptick in violence

(CNN) -- At least 61 people were killed and scores wounded Wednesday in the latest wave of attacks in the Iraqi capital and across the country.

Bombings and shootings, aimed at security forces and civilians alike, made it an especially bloody day as sectarian violence flared up.

The United Nations said 2013 was the deadliest year in Iraq since 2008, with almost 8,000 people killed, most of them civilians. Fears of all-out sectarian war have increased since violence broke out in Anbar province in recent days.

Much of the violence recorded Wednesday was in and around Baghdad.

Twenty-two people were killed and 74 were wounded by seven car bombs and two roadside bombs that exploded in the Iraqi capital, targeting mainly Shiite areas, police said.

Two of the bombs detonated near a busy market in the mainly Shiite area of Hussainiya, in northern Baghdad, police said. The deadliest bombing in Baghdad was in the predominantly Shiite al-Shula neighborhood in the northwestern part of the city, where a car bomb detonated at an outdoor market, killing seven people.

Violence flared outside of Baghdad, too.

In Baquba, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Baghdad, 14 people were killed and 21 wounded in a bombing at the funeral of a school official, according to police.

In Diyala province, gunmen attacked and kidnapped seven truck drivers in Alham village. Two hours later, the bodies of the drivers were found.

At least three people were killed in violence in Mosul, in addition to seven soldiers killed in a bombing south of Mosul.

In Anbar province to the west, al Qaeda-backed militants and Iraq's security forces are battling for control of Falluja and Ramadi. The violence recalls the bloody fighting at the height of the Iraq war that nearly tore the country apart.

Allawi: Iraqi violence could 'burn up' entire region

Iraq: Moderates are hard to find as 'bad old days' return in Baghdad

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