Iraq is seeing a surge in terrorist attacks ahead of elections later this month. Over a dozen people are killed in the latest bout of car bombings in the capital Baghdad.
Shia neighborhoods were the main target of the attacks, bearing the hallmarks of al-Qaeda-linked terrorists. One bomb struck in the sprawling Sadr City, which is a regular target of such incidents. Violence has been escalating as the Iraqis prepare for parliamentary elections in late April. The country is grappling with a nationwide bloodshed which has claimed the lives of more than 24-hundred people since the start of the year. Extremists linked to the al-Qaeda have engaged security forces in a series of high-profile attacks in border provinces. But, there are concerns they might be trying to advance on the capital now.