- The Washington Times - Monday, August 26, 2013

At least 47 people were killed in Iraq on Sunday, the so-called declared day of terror that pitted Sunni Muslims and al Qaeda militants against Shiite villagers.

The Jerusalem Post reported that al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq militants have ratcheted up attacks in recent months, killing more than 1,000 Iraqis in July alone. That’s the highest death county in any given month since 2008, the United Nations said.

On Sunday, car bombs, road bombs and shootings rocked through several Iraqi regions. The violence is just the latest in ongoing sectarian clashes that have grown worse because of the spillover from neighboring Syria’s battles. Some military experts suggest this latest wave of violence could mark the return of large-scale killings that haven’t been seen since 2006 and 2007, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Most of the recent attacks have taken place at public gatherings, like cafes and markets.

The largest of Sunday’s bombings occurred in Baquba, 40 miles from Baghdad. A car bomb detonated near a housing community, killing 11 and injuring 34, police said in the Jerusalem Post.

Other attacks on Sunday left five soldiers dead in a town about 180 miles from the Iraqi capital. Suspected militants stopped two taxis that were transporting soldiers to Mosul, sources said.

“One of the cars escaped the ambush but the second one could not, and the militants shot dead five soldiers and burned their bodies after they killed them,” one military officer said.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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