Serial bombings and shootings across Iraq on Sunday killed at least 45 people, injured scores, and delivered the message that the oil rich nation is still reeling from the impact of a devastating invasion that the United States and its allies undertook nine years ago.
Eleven soldiers died when attackers bombed a military base near Baghdad amid a shooting spree. Another attack in the south-eastern city of Amara killed at least 14 people and injured more than 60.
The geographical spread of the coordinated strikes was wide and hardly any region of the country seemed to have been spared. Seven policemen died when a bomb went off near Kirkuk — known for the giant oilfields that surround this northern city. The victims were apparently applying for jobs with the state-run Northern Oil Company, a police spokesman said.
Basra in southern Iraq was also jolted by a car bombing, which killed three people in this oil city. Three cars bombings also rocked the town of Taji, north of Baghdad, killing one person and wounding at least seven. As the violence spiralled, five roadside bombs exploded in and around Baquba, killing a soldier and wounding 17.
Media reports suggested Sunday’s carnage was the result of 11 coordinated strikes. In yet another incident, the French consulate in Nasiriya was targeted, resulting in two deaths.
Sectarian violence has rocked Iraq in recent years as plotters have made a concerted attempt to drive a wedge among the country’s communities — the majority Shia, Sunni, Christians and other minority communities.
The sectarian divide is expected to further acerbate as an Iraqi court on Sunday sentenced to death Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi — belonging to the Sunni community. Mr. Hashemi had initially fled to northern Iraq, but eventually sought refuge in Turkey and Qatar in order to evade arrest. The veteran politician had been charged with running a death squad and complicity in the assassination of security officials and a lawyer.