BAGHDAD (AP) — A wave of bombings targeting Shiites in Iraq killed 72 people on Thursday, deepening sectarian tensions that exploded just after the last American troops left the country in mid-December.
The coordinated attacks targeting Shiites bore the hallmarks of Sunni insurgents linked to al-Qaida, although there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The bombings began early in the morning when explosions struck two Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing at least 27 people. A few hours later, a suicide attack hit Shiite pilgrims heading to the holy Shiite city of Karbala, killing 45, said provincial official Quosay al-Abadi. The explosions took place near Nasiriyah, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad. Hospital officials confirmed the causalities.