April 26, 2013
Bomb blasts in Baghdad killed at least 20 more people on Friday at the end of a week of bloodshed that prompted a United Nations envoy to warn Iraq was “at a crossroads”.
More than 160 people have been killed since Tuesday, when troops stormed a Sunni protest camp near Kirkuk, triggering clashes that quickly spread to other Sunni areas in western and northern provinces.
Although well below the heights of 2006-7, this week’s violence was the most widespread since U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq in December 2011. Militant attacks have increased this year as Iraq’s fragile ethnic and sectarian balance comes under growing strain from the civil war in neighboring Syria.