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Iraq's weekend of violence

Atul Aneja

— Photo: AP

Innocents targeted:A man places the body of his three-year-old niece into a coffin with the body of her five-year-old sister, at a funeral service in Najaf on Sunday. The girls and their family of five were killed on Saturday in an attack in the southern city of Basra.

DUBAI: Violence continued to surge in Iraq with six persons dying in the provincial capital Ramadi on Sunday in a suicide car bombing.

The incident happened at a petrol station when people were queuing up to receive social welfare payments at a nearby post office.

The Ramadi attack follows Saturday's carnage in Basra in which at least 43 persons were killed and 185 wounded following one roadside explosion and two car bombings.

One of the bombs was apparently planted under an electric transformer.

The detonation caused a huge fire which rapidly swept through the Al-Ashaar market in Iraq's second largest city, located around 550 km south of Baghdad. Basra's security chief, Ali al-Maliki said that “terrorist action” was responsible for Saturday's bloodbath.

Last week at least 68 persons were killed over three days in Baghdad in attacks on Shia pilgrims.

Analysts attribute the spike in violence to the political vacuum that has emerged in Iraq on account of the inability of various political groups, who had won the March 7 elections, to form a new government.

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