Bomb Attacks Kill 47 in Iraq, Wound Dozens More

A series of bombs and shootings left at least 47 people dead in Iraq Sunday, as sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims continued to escalate.

The targets of the explosions were seemingly random; one bomb went off close to a wedding party convoy in the city of Baqouba (around 40 miles northeast of Baghdad), killing four and injuring 17, police reported. The largest of Sunday's attacks occurred when a car bomb exploded close to a residential complex, killing at least 11 people and wounding 34, officials said.

A series of bombs exploded in the capital as well, including one near a coffee shop, killing eight and wounding another 27.

Five soldiers were among the victims of the attacks, when alleged insurgents ambushed two cars transporting soldiers from the capital to their units in Mosul.

"One of the cars escaped the ambush but the second one could not and the militants shot dead five soldiers and burned their bodies after they killed them," said one senior intelligence military officer.

Further attacks in Madaen, Baghdad, Balad, and Mosul killed the other 19 victims of Sunday’s violence, including two people who were shot dead near their homes in eastern Mosul.

This latest in scattered attacks follows a deadly July, in which over 1,000 Iraqis were killed — the highest monthly death toll in five years. Many in the international community are worried about a possible return of the large-scale sectarian violence that rocked the nation in 2006 and 2007. According to the U.N., roughly 34,000 civilians died in attacks in 2006.

Around seven million Iraqis — 23 percent of the total population — live below the poverty line, spending less than $2.20 per person per day.