More car bomb attacks shake Iraq

Escalation of attacks

BAGHDAD - A series of bomb attacks across Iraq killed at least 12 people and wounded 64 others on Thursday, security and medical officials said.
The deadliest of the blasts took place in Dujail, 60 kilometres (35 miles) north of Baghdad, where two car bombs minutes apart killed seven people. Another five people died in a car bomb in Hilla, south of the capital.
Bombings also took place in Hawija and Karbala.
There were no casualties in Hawija, but 17 people were wounded in Karbala, including eight who officials said were Pakistani Shiite pilgrims. The Pakistani embassy did not respond to requests from AFP for confirmation.
The violence comes a day after 42 people were killed in a wave of attacks in Baghdad and north of the capital, Iraq's deadliest day in a month.
Attacks in Iraq are down from their peak in 2006-2007, but they are still common across the country.
The violence comes as Iraq grapples with a long-running political dispute, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki facing several protests hardening opposition against his rule and calls from many of his erstwhile government partners for his ouster.