Attacks across Iraq kill 35 as politicians haggle for new coalition
BAGHDAD - Attacks across Iraq killed 14 people on Tuesday, as politicians haggle over forming a new governing coalition after an April general election.
Iraq is going through its worst protracted spell of violence since it emerged from a brutal Sunni-Shiite sectarian conflict that left tens of thousands dead in 2006 and 2007.
The worst of Tuesday's bloodshed unrest was concentrated in the outskirts of Baghdad, with eight people killed in all, security and medical officials said.
In Iskandiriyah, militants killed five people -- two with guns and three with knives -- along a main road in the town before fleeing the scene. It was not clear why the victims were targeted.
The town lies in a confessionally-mixed area south of Baghdad dubbed the "Triangle of Death" for its brutal violence in 2006-7.
On the capital's northern outskirts, two people were killed by mortar fire in Saba al-Bor, while a policeman was shot dead in Tarmiyah.
Further north, attacks in Salaheddin, Nineveh and Kirkuk provinces killed six people, four of them policemen, officials said.
Figures separately compiled by the United Nations and the government in Baghdad showed more than 900 people were killed last month alone.
A tally puts the death toll so far this year at more than 4,000.
Officials blame external factors for the rise in bloodshed, particularly the civil war in neighbouring Syria, and insist wide-ranging operations against militants are having an impact.
But the violence has continued unabated, with analysts and diplomats saying the Shiite-led government needs to do more to reach out to the disaffected Sunni Arab minority to reduce support for militancy.