A weekend wave of violence has been hitting Iraq, with Saturday in particular seeing a dozen car bombs going off in Baghdad.
All were in shi’ite areas, the deadliest being in Bayaa, where 23 people died, many of them young men playing billiards. In all at least 60 people were killed in the capital.
“A car came and parked here and its driver walked away. Ten minutes later the car went up. All the shops were closed, but there were four boys collecting Pepsi cans from the garbage. All of them were killed and a child and a man here were killed too and his body parts are still here,” said one young man.
Militants also stormed the university in Ramadi, which they have held parts of since the start of the year, and this came on the heels of fighting in Mosul on Friday that claimed at least 50 lives,. On Thursday militants extended control over Anbar province’s other main city which they have held since January, Falluja.
The UN says in the last six months the lack of security has forced 480,000 people from their homes in Anbar, the largest displacement since the 2006-7 peak in sectarian massacres.