Series of bombings kills 15 in Iraq
(CNN) — The United Nations and the United States condemned a wave of bombings in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities that left 15 dead and wounded dozens Sunday.
The latest blast hit a coffee shop in a Shiite Muslim district in southeastern Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 10, police said. Another 11 people were killed and at least 70 were wounded in five car bombings south of Baghdad, most of them also in the Shiite districts of Mahawil, Mahmoudiya, Kut, Basra and Aziziya, authorities said.
Sunday's attacks came six days after another rash of bombings in northern Iraq that killed nearly 60 people, from police in the northern city of Mosul to shoppers at a vegetable market in Baghdad.
Iraq has been beset with political and sectarian violence in recent months, leading to fears that the sectarian warfare that raged between Shiite and Sunni communities last decade could be rekindled.
"Nothing can justify such despicable and heinous crimes, targeting innocent people going about their daily business," Martin Kobler, the U.N. special representative for Iraq, said in a statement issued late Sunday. He called on Iraq's political leaders to sit down and address the country's problems "with good faith and determination."
Many Sunni Arabs, who dominated Iraq under longtime strongman Saddam Hussein, have felt marginalized under the Shiite-led government that took power after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Hussein in 2003.
The United States has kept an extensive diplomatic presence in Iraq since the last American military units left in December 2011. In a statement on the attacks, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said, "We mourn the loss of life and stand firmly with the Iraqi people who seek to live in peace and who reject cowardly acts of terrorism such as this."