BAGHDAD (AP) — Bombings and shootings around Iraq killed 22 people and wounded more than 50 on Thursday, authorities said, as a spike in violence made June Iraq's bloodiest month in almost a half a year.
The attacks in Shiite neighborhoods and on security forces appeared mostly to be unrelated. They nonetheless underscore how deadly Iraq remains, even though violence has dropped dramatically since a few years ago when the country appeared about to descend into civil war. Over the last month, more than 200 Iraqis have been killed in attacks.
Thursday's deadliest strike came around 9:30 a.m. in the Shiite Muslim neighborhood of Washash in western Baghdad, where eyewitnesses said a taxi exploded outside a local market. Eight people died and 26 were injured, police and hospital officials said.
Hadil Maytham and her two children were eating breakfast in their nearby house when they heard the explosion.
"It shook the doors and the windows of the house," said Maytham, 28. "Then we heard shooting, probably by police who usually shoot randomly after explosions."
Bombings generally are a hallmark of Sunni Muslim insurgents linked to al-Qaida, and Shiites remain one of their main targets. Earlier Thursday, a roadside bomb in a Shiite neighborhood in southern Baghdad exploded as a police patrol was passing by, killing one person and wounding six.
Two more attacks on Shiite enclaves in northwest Baghdad wounded five more people, police said.
And in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad, another car bomb wounded seven people in the parking lot of the provincial council. The largely Sunni province's deputy governor Dhari Arkan said the explosion early in the morning was designed to shake confidence in the government.
"The message of the terrorists is that no place is safe in Iraq," Arkan said.
Sunnis affiliated with the government and security forces also frequently come under attack.
In the Sunni city of Taji, just north of Baghdad, two cars parked about 100 meters (yards) apart from each other exploded outside the office of the local mayor at dawn, police said. The mayor was not in his office at the time, but the blast killed five people and wounded 18, leaving craters in nearby homes.