A wave of car bombs and shootings, mostly targeting Shias killed 28 people on Sunday as Iraq grapples with a spike in violence and prolonged political deadlock.

At least 10 vehicles rigged with explosives went off in eight cities in Shia Muslim-majority south during morning rush hour, also leaving more than 100 people wounded, while the main northern city of Mosul witnessed a deadly shooting.

No group claimed responsibility, but Sunni militant groups linked to al-Qaeda frequently target Shias, whom they regard as apostates, in coordinated assaults.

Car bombs exploded in Kut, Aziziyah, Nasiriyah, Basra, Mahmudiyah, Madain, Jbela and Najaf, officials said.

Early on Sunday, three policemen were shot dead near the main northern city of Mosul, which is primarily Sunni Arab.

The violence was the latest in a spike in attacks nationwide, with last month registering the highest death toll since 2008, sparking fears of a return to the all-out sectarian war that blighted Iraq in 2006 and 2007. — AFP