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      Iraq: Ramadan Ends with Wave of Attacks, Dozens Killed

      More than 60 people were killed in a series of bomb attacks in Iraq, as locals celebrated the Eid al-Fitr festival.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 8/11/2013, 6:40 AM

      Site of a car bomb attack in Nasiriyah city, south of Baghdad
      Site of a car bomb attack in Nasiriyah city, south of Baghdad
      Reuters

      A wave of bomb attacks hit Iraq over the weekend, as people celebrated the Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of Ramadan, with more than 60 reported dead.

      The BBC reported that 11 bombs targeted both Shiite and Sunni areas of the capital, Baghdad, hitting cafes, markets and restaurants in at least nine different districts.

      A bomb also killed at least 10 people in Tuz Khurmato, north of the capital.

      This Ramadan in Iraq is thought to have been one of the deadliest in years, with more than 670 people killed.

      Most of the violence in the past six months has involved Sunni Islamist militant groups targeting Shiite Muslim districts.

      More than 4,000 people have died in such attacks this year. A further 9,865 have been injured, with Baghdad province the worst hit, reported the BBC.

      The capital's deadliest car bomb attack on Saturday struck in the evening near an outdoor market in the south-eastern suburb of Jisr Diyala, police said, killing seven people and injuring 20.

      At least another 10 people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack in Tuz Khurmato, 170km (105 miles) north of Baghdad.

      Other attacks were reported in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Baghdad, and Nasiriya, 375 kilometers (230 miles) south of the capital.

      Another went off near a Shiite mosque in the northern city of Kirkuk.

      Last week Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed to continue operations against terrorists, saying, "We will not leave our children to these murderers and those standing behind them and supporting both inside and outside."

      Many Sunnis accuse Maliki's Shiite-led government of marginalizing them.

      In late July, at least 500 inmates - most of them "senior" Al-Qaeda terrorists - escaped from two jails in Iraq, threatening to worsen the security situation in the country.

      The jailbreaks occurred in Taji, to the north of the capital Baghdad, and west of the capital, in the infamous Abu Ghraib prison.

      Abu Ghraib gained notoriety in 2004 when evidence surfaced of abuse against Iraqi inmates by U.S. forces. It was previously used as a prison by Saddam Hussein's regime, where political opponents were systematically tortured.

      During the past two years, many Iraqi Al-Qaeda terrorists have relocated to Syria to fight in the bloody civil war there as part of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISI) - an Al Qaeda franchise which seeks to replace the regime of Bashar al-Assad with an Islamic Caliphate ruled by Islamic sharia law.