Lifestyle & Belief

Baghdad car bombing leaves at least 5 dead as Iraq sees more violence


Iraqis gather around burnt vehicles at the site of a car bombing at a market in Baghdad's impoverished district of Sadr City on May 16, 2013 as at least eight people were killed in blasts across the country. Violence in Iraq has fallen from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common, killing more than 200 people in each of the first four months of this year.


Ahmad Al-Rubaye

A car bombing in Baghdad's predominantly Shia neighborhood of Sadr City has left at least five people dead and 19 wounded.

The explosives-packed truck detonated at a busy bus and taxi stop at rush hour Thursday morning, following a Wednesday attack that also targeted predominantly Shia areas. 

More from GlobalPost: Iraq bombings in Baghdad, Kirkuk kill 32, injure dozens more

Also Thursday, a separate bombing in eastern Baghdad's Kamaliyah neighborhood killed three and injured nine. In Bayaa in south Baghdad, gunmen shot and killed a Sunni lawmaker's brother.

The series of bombings and shootings are the latest indicators that sectarian violence in Iraq is on the rise, as the international community focuses on the ongoing war in Syria. 

Since the withdrawal of American troops in 2011, Iraq has seen a shift from the targeting of US forces to Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence, Foreign Policy reported, citing "negative indicators" such as:

Armed civilian militias are reactivating, tit-for-tat bombings are targeting Sunni and Shiite mosques, and some Iraqi military forces are breaking down into ethnic-sectarian components or suffering from chronic absenteeism. Numerous segments of Iraq's body politic — Kurdish, Sunni Arab, and Shia — are exasperated over the government's inability to address political or economic inequities, and are talking seriously about partition. 

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pointed to sectarianism as the source of the uptick of violence. 

"The bloodshed... is a result of sectarian hatred," Maliki said in a televised speech. "These crimes are a natural result of the sectarian mindset."

Tensions continue to rise between Maliki's Shia government and Iraq's Sunni minority, who believe they are targeted through wrongful detentions and terrorism accusations.