Conflict & Justice

Death toll in Iraq bombings rises: Are they headed toward another civil war?


Iraqis walk at the scene in the north Baghdad neighborhood of Kadhimiyah where twin car bombs exploded on January 5, 2012. A spate of blasts against Shiite enclaves in Baghdad killed at least 21 people, officials said, as Iraq grapples with a political row that has stoked sectarian tensions.



Another day of bloody sectarian violence in Iraq points to intensifying conflict -- and maybe civil war? 

Making predictions of civil war are never smart, but it's difficult to exaggerate the seriousness of the recent Iraq killings without at least raising it as a possibility. 

Over 70 people were killed today in a wave of nearly-simultaneous bombings targeting Shiite neighborhoods in the capital, Baghdad, and the Shia-dominated city of Nasiriyah in the south.

Today's bloodshed comes just two weeks after a similar spate of bombings killed 70 in Baghdad amid a worsening political crisis that is threatening the future of the Iraqi state. 

Al Jazeera International's Dahr Jamail, reporting from Baghdad, said that the the timing of the attacks "couldn't have come at a worse time", pointing to the tense political situation in the country.

Some 60 percent of Iraqis are Shia, while the Sunni population hovers around 35 percent. Baghdad itself is a patchwork of sects.