BAGHDAD A series of bombings struck Baghdad and a livestock market south of the Iraqi capital Thursday, killing at least 19 and wounding dozens in areas that are home to mostly Muslim Shiites — the latest evidence of rising sectarian discord in Iraq.
The deadliest attack occurred around sunset when a pair of bombs exploded nearly simultaneously in Shula in northwestern Baghdad. One was a car bomb that was detonated outside a fast food restaurant and the other blast occurred near a soccer field. The double-bombing killed 15 people and left at least 40 wounded, officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but car bombings in Shiite areas are a favorite tactic of Sunni extremists such as al-Qaida’s local affiliate. The group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq, considers Shiites to be heretics and accuses them of being too closely aligned with neighboring Shiite powerhouse Iran.
Earlier in the day, a car bomb tore through the crowded livestock market in the town of Aziziyah, 35 miles southeast of Baghdad. That attack killed three people and wounded eight.
A few hours later, a roadside bomb missed a passing police patrol in western Baghdad but killed a bystander and wounded eight people.
Police and hospital officials provided details of the attacks and the casualty figures. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.