By Ria Novosti
More than 80 people were killed and over 270 injured in a new spate of shootings and bombings across Iraq on Thursday, CNN reported citing the country’s police officials.
Militants carried out coordinated attacks throughout the day targeting mostly Shiite areas in Baghdad and Kirkuk, Salaheddin, Anbar, Wasit and Diyala provinces.
“The violence came in the final days of the holy month of Ramadan, when Iraqis traditionally fill shops and markets to prepare for the Eid feast,” CNN said.
Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, Iraqi authorities suspect al-Qaeda involvement, as its local arm, the Islamic State of Iraq, has recently announced a new offensive against mainly Shiite targets with a goal to undermine the country’s Shiite-led government.
In the deadliest attack on Thursday night, a car bomb followed by a roadside bomb exploded outside shops on a busy road in Baghdad’s Zafaraniya district, killing 31 people and wounding 56.
According to experts on Iraq, the power struggle among Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish factions continues to fuel the sectarian violence in the country even after the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq eight months ago.