Ongoing Violence in Iraq Leaves More than 70 Dead

An ongoing string of violence in Iraq has left at least 71 more people dead and an estimated 200 wounded Wednesday.

In the latest wave of terror, car and suicide bombs — among other other methods — were used to target civilian shopping areas in a Shiite Muslim area near the capital. The hardest hit area was Kazimiyah, a neighborhood in the north that houses a Shiite shrine. A military convoy was also attacked, leaving four soldiers dead.

In addition to bombings, Wednesday's death toll includes the slaughter of members of a Shiite family who were killed when gunmen broke into their home and shot them as they slept. Among the dead were three children ranging between eight and 12 years old. The family's home was located in a largely Sunni neighborhood.

The bombs detonated in outdoor markets and near commercial centers. More than 500 people have been killed in August alone following July's violence, which killed closer to 1,000.

The continued attacks, which have included coordinated bomb attacks at least once a month, have left thousands dead since April and mark the deadliest string of attacks since 2008.

No group has yet stepped forward to take responsibility for Wednesday's deadly bombings.

Many fear that the increased violence will lead to all out conflict between the countries two factions. Last year, Sunnis launched months of protest against the Shiite-lead government. A government crackdown on the protests in April left protestors dead and inflamed anger.

Some believe that the ongoing resistance in neighboring Syria is fueling the discord between the country's Sunni and Shiite populations.