18 Dead in Attacks Across Iraq
Several attacks across Iraq, including a a bombing near a playground, have left at least 18 dead Saturday, underscoring continued unrest in the war torn country.
The largest of the attacks, a blast in Baghdad neighborhood near a playground and a small market, killed eight people, half of them children, and injured another 24 people including children.
"Nobody expected this explosion because our neighborhood has been living in peace, away from the violence hitting the rest of the capital," said Bassem Mohammed, a 35-year-old father of three in the neighborhood who was startled by the blast.
"We feel sad for the children who thought that they would spend a happy time during Eid, but instead ended up getting killed or hurt."
In another attack, a bomb attached to a bus killed five people and wounded nine, according to police. The passengers were heading to a Shiite shrine in Baghdad to mark Eid, a major Muslim holiday.
The death toll climbed throughout the day in the country after a series of car bombs and one house raid took the lives of several and wounded many others.
Sectarian violence and terrorist attacks from Al Qaeda affiliated groups, spawned by the US invasion in 2003, have continued despite the withdrawal of most western military forces last year. Figures released from the Iraqi government last month revealed that violence in September of 2012 spiked to the highest level in two years with a monthly death total of 365.