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Car bombs in Baghdad; 25 dead

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
August 16, 2013 -- Updated 0100 GMT (0900 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Most of the blasts took place in Shiite areas
  • July was the deadliest month in Iraq for years
  • Iraq forces have been hunting down al Qaeda members in Baghdad

(CNN) -- (CNN) -- At least 25 people were killed and 70 others were wounded in a wave of car bombs across Baghdad on Thursday, police said.

Eight bombings took place in several of the Iraqi capital's neighborhoods. Most of the explosions occurred in Shiite areas.

The attacks erupted during a tumultuous period in Iraq, engulfed in sectarian and political violence this year.

Sunnis, who have long felt politically marginalized since the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime last decade, have been at odds with the Shiite-dominated government led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki

July was the deadliest month in Iraq in the last five years since the peak of sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007. According to the United Nations, 1,057 Iraqis were killed and another 2,326 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence last month.

Over the last two weeks, Iraqi security forces have been conducting a large-scale operation called "The Revenge For The Martyrs." The goal is to track down al Qaeda members in and around Baghdad. Al Qaeda in Iraq is a Sunni militant movement.

So far, hundreds of people have been arrested, according to the Baghdad operation military command website.

Ossama al-Nujaifi, the country's parliament speaker and a Sunni, strongly criticized the operation in a recent statement and blamed Iraqi security forces for not been able to protect the citizenry.

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