Sectarian and political violence continued in Iraq on Friday as series of car bombs exploded outside Shia mosques in separate cities across the country.
At least four people were reported in early reports, with many scores wounded in explosions in Baghdad and in the northern city of Kirkuk.
More recent reporting from The Daily Star in Lebanon put the death toll at fifteen people.
The blasts all struck within an hour of each other during Friday prayers outside of mosques in the Baghdad neighbourhoods of Jihad, Zafraniyah, Suleih and al-Benoug, as well as in an area of southern Kirkuk.
The attacks come amid a spike in violence nationwide as the country prepares for its first elections in three years, provincial polls that will be held in 12 of Iraq's 18 provinces on April 20.
In the deadliest attack, three people were killed and 70 wounded by a car bomb in southern Kirkuk city, near the al-Rasul al-Aadham mosque, according to Sadiq Omar Rasul, chief of the provincial health directorate.
The blasts in Baghdad, meanwhile, left at least one dead and 14 wounded, security and medical officials said.
Last week marked the ten year anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, but the ongoing violence fueled by divisions stirred during the years of military occupation continue.
“The Iraqi people can be certain of this,” said President George W. Bush before the US invasion over a decade ago. “The United States is committed to helping them build a better future.”
But as TomDispatch associate editor Nick Turse reminded readers this week, it was perhaps the hollowest promise in a series of hollow pronouncements made to justify the war.
"In fact," writes Turse, "while the U.S. military left Iraq in 2011 and war supporters have advanced a counterfeit history of success there -- owing to then-General (now disgraced former CIA director) David Petraeus’s military “surge” of 2007 -- the war’s brutal legacy lives on."