Several dead in Iraq bomb blast
A car bomb near a cafe in central Iraq has killed at least eight people in the latest in a series of attacks.
Monday’s blast in the town of Buhriz, south of Baquba, also wounded 22 people, police and medical sources said.
The attack came a day after a series of bombings in and around Baghdad killed at least 39 people.
Armed groups have attacked dozens of cafes in Iraq in recent months, and have repeatedly targeted other crowded areas such as markets and mosques – despite increased security measures put in place by the authorities.
Violence in Iraq has reached a level this year not seen since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal period of rampant sectarian killings. Nearly 950 people were killed in the month of November alone.
Officials have pointed the finger at al-Qaeda-linked groups emboldened by the civil war in neighbouring Syria, but analysts and diplomats say the government has not done enough to address underlying domestic problems.
Unrest surged after security forces stormed a Sunni Arab protest camp north of Baghdad in April, leading to clashes that killed dozens of people.
Members of the country’s Sunni minority, who complain of discrimination at the hands of the Shia-led government, have held frequent mass demonstrations for almost a year.
The government has made some concessions aimed at placating the Sunni community, including freeing prisoners and raising the salaries of anti-al-Qaeda fighters, and has also trumpeted security operations against armed fighters.
But daily attacks have shown no sign of abating, and violence has killed more than 6,300 people since the beginning of the year, according to an AFP tally.