Twenty - six people have been killed and 58 injured in separate attacks across Iraq, according to security and medical officials.
All of the deadly incidents occurred on Friday. Fifteen people were killed and 32 injured when a car bomb exploded near a Shia religious center in the Graiat area of north Baghdad at around 8:00 p.m. (1700 GMT), AFP reported, citing an Iraqi police colonel and a medical official. In the town of Samarra, some 95 kilometers north of Baghdad, seven people were killed and nine were injured after a bomber, disguised as an army officer, blew his car up near the Al-Razzaq Mosque just before mid-day Friday prayers. The bomber was also killed in the attack. In Kut, a town 160 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, one person was killed and 17 were injured when a bomb exploded in Al-Amil Square at around 10:00 a.m. (0700 GMT). Police officials said that two militants also died in the northern town of Hawijah when the bomb they were trying to plant suddenly blew up. No group immediately claimed responsibility for any of Friday’s attacks. Iraq has seen a surge in violence since the start of the year, with the UN reporting that more than 2,500 people were killed from April through June, the highest level since 2008. Earlier this month, UN Special Representative to Iraq Martin Kobler advised Iraq’s leaders to hold meetings to address the country’s problems, including the car bomb attacks. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said that militant groups and the remnants of the former Ba’athist regime are responsible for the latest wave of violence in the country.