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A wave of car bombings targeting those celebrating Eid al-Fitr across Iraq killed 69 people on 10 August, a bloody reminder of the inability of Iraqi authorities to stop violence threatening to spiral out of control. Violence has been on the rise across Iraq since a deadly crackdown by government forces on a Sunni protest camp in April, and attacks against civilians and security forces notably spiked during Ramadhan. The surge of attacks has sparked fears that the country could see a new round of widespread sectarian bloodshed similar to that which brought the country to the edge of civil war in 2006 and 2007.
The bloodshed also comes after Iraqi security forces promised to step up efforts to increase security to protect the public during the Eid Al-Fitr celebrations. This year’s Ramadhan was the most violence since 2007, with 671 people killed. Many of the attacks occurred within an hour of each other, suggesting a level of coordination in the assaults. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. Police said the deadliest of Saturday’s attacks took place when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into a residential area in the town of Tuz Khormato, killing eight people and wounding dozens, Mayor Shalal Abdool said. The town is about 200 kilometres (130 miles) north of the Iraqi capital.