More than 100 people have been killed in violence across the country since the beginning of August, showing that insurgents led by al-Qaeda's Iraqi franchise remain a lethal force eight months after the last US troops left the country. Thursday's carnage began with a predawn attack against the house of a military officer.
Militants planted four bombs around his house near the northern city of Kirkuk, according to the city's police commander Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir. The officer escaped unharmed, but his brother was killed and six other family members were wounded. Hours later, a bomb in a parked car exploded near a string of restaurants, killing one and wounding 15, Qadir said.
The blast seriously damaged the eateries' storefronts, scattering shattered glass and debris across the sidewalk. Another parked car bomb targeting a police patrol followed, injuring two policemen and two civilian bystanders. A couple hours later, two car bombs exploded simultaneously in a parking lot near a complex of government offices in the city's north, injuring four people. Kirkuk, 290 kilometres north of Baghdad, is home to a combustible mix of Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Turkomen.
They all claim rights to the city and the oil-rich lands around it. Daqouq, the site of the midday blast, is about 30 kilometres (about 19 miles) south of the city. In Baghdad's northeastern and mostly Shiite neighbourhood of Husseiniyah, a parked car erupted in an explosion that killed seven people. Another 31 people were injured, two police officers said.