Car bombings highlight rising concern about security in Iraq
September 30, 2013 -- Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT)
A member of the Iraqi Kurdish security forces inspects the site of a car bomb in Arbil on Sunday.
- NEW: United Nations says such violence could signal new refugee crisis
- Car bombings strike predominantly Shiite neighborhoods, authorities say
- More than 5,000 have died across the country in 2013, U.N. agency says
(CNN) -- A string of car bombings in predominantly Shiite neighborhoods across Baghdad on Monday killed 37 people and wounded 155, adding to rising concern about sectarian violence across Iraq.
According to police officials, 11 bombs exploded in busy areas of the city and its suburban districts, including three bombings in the predominantly Shiite Al-Shaab suburb.
After several years of relative stability in Iraq, violence has been on the upswing of late.
More than 5,000 civiilans have died and 12,000 have been wounded in terrorist attacks and other violence in Iraq in 2013, the United Nations Mission in Iraq reported this month. The region around Baghdad has been the hardest-hit, the agency said.
The violence suggests that "Iraq may be moving back to a level of civil conflict that will amount to a serious civil war," the Center for Strategic and International Studies warned in a recent report.
"There is also substantial reporting to show that Iraq's violence is not simply the product of extremists and terrorist groups," authors Anthony Cordesman and Sam Khazai said in the September 9 report.
"Iraq's growing violence is also the result of the fact that Iraq is the scene of an ongoing struggle to establish a new national identity: one that can bridge across the deep sectarian divisions between its Shi'ites and Sunnis as well as the ethnic divisions between its Arabs and its Kurds and other minorities," they wrote.
Last week, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said it was increasingly concerned that recent sectarian violence threatens to set off a new refugee crisis within the country.
About 5,000 people have been forced to flee the recent violence around Baghdad, heading largely for Anbar and Salah Al-Din governates, the agency siad.
The country is still struggling to deal with more than 1.3 million people who fled from one part of Iraq to another to escape earlier sectarian violence, the U.N. agency said.
Funeral car bombings kill 53, wound dozens in eastern Baghdad
CNN's John Defterios and journalist Aqeel Najam contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.