Iraq bloodshed continues with suicide bombings in Shia town of Balad


An Iraqi worker cleans the pavement near a burnt vehicle on August 11, 2013 on the scene of a car bomb attack that occurred the day before in the northern Baghdad neighbourhood of Shaab.



A suicide bomber in Iraq killed at least 13 people at a cafe in the Shia town of Balad, north of Baghdad.

The bombing wounded another 25 people in what is believed to be a sectarian attack.

Iraq saw intense bloodshed over the weekend with nearly 70 dead in a spate of bombings and gun attacks, mainly on Shias.

About 3,000 people have died in attacks since April, with around 670 killed during Ramadan.

On Sunday, militants opened fire at a checkpoint run by a government-backed Sunni militia, killing two and wounding two north of Bagdad.

Attacks by Sunni extremists have spiked since April with much of the violence claimed by an Al Qaeda affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The violence apparently aims to undermine the Shia-led government and provoke tension among both sects of Islam.

Violence has been on the rise since US-led forces left Iraq 18 months ago. The civil war in Syria has also contributed to tensions between Sunni and Shia communities.

More from GlobalPost: Q&A: What's behind the spike of violence in Iraq?