Times of Oman
Dec 01, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 10:00 AM GMT
Baghdad market blast kills seven
September 26, 2013 | 12:00 AM

A bomb exploded in a crowded market in the Iraqi capital on Thursday, killing at least seven people and wounding 15, officials said.

The blast in the Dura area of south Baghdad marks the latest in a spate of attacks at markets, which are frequently targeted by militants seeking to cause maximum casualties.

Iraq is witnessing the worst violence since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal sectarian conflict.

There are persistent fears that Iraq will return to the all-out Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence that peaked in 2006-2007 and killed tens of thousands of people.

With the latest violence, more than 680 people have been killed this month and over 4,500 since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.

Diplomats and analysts say the Shiite-led government's failure to address the grievances of the Sunni Arab minority, who complain of political exclusion and abuses at the hands of the security forces, has driven the spike in violence this year.

Sectarian tensions created by the civil war in neighbouring Syria have also fuelled the violence rocking Iraq.

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