Wave of Baghdad blasts kills at least 25

BAGHDAD, Iraq –  A series of bombings mainly targeting Shiite-majority areas of the Iraqi capital killed at least 25 people on Saturday, June 7, security and medical officials said.

The 6 car bombings and one roadside bomb hit seven different areas of Baghdad, also wounding more than 85 people.

The attacks came as security forces battled militants in the northern city of Mosul in clashes that killed 59 people.

And in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, militants took hundreds of students and staff hostage at a university, sparking an assault led by special forces to free them.

Violence is running at its highest levels since 2006-2007, when tens of thousands were killed in sectarian conflict between Iraq's Shiite majority and Sunni Arab minority.

More than 900 people were killed last month, according to figures separately compiled by the United Nations and the government.

So far this year, more than 4,300 people have been killed, according to Agence France-Presse figures.

Officials blame external factors for the rising bloodshed, particularly the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

But analysts say widespread Sunni Arab anger with the Shiite-led government has also been a major factor. – Rappler.com