Bomb attack in Baghdad (illustrative)
Bomb attack in Baghdad (illustrative)Reuters

Attacks in Iraq killed 10 people on Saturday, seven of them from the same family, security and medical officials told the AFP news agency.

In the Dura area of southern Baghdad, gunmen armed with silenced weapons shot dead a father, mother, four sons and the wife of one of them at their home, the officials said.

The father was a member of the Sahwa anti-Al-Qaeda militia, who joined forces with the United States from late 2006 and are frequently targeted by Sunni terrorists, who view them as traitors.

In another attack in the Mansur area of west Baghdad, a lawyer was killed by a magnetic “sticky bomb” attached to his car.

In a third incident, gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Shiite pilgrims in Balad, north of Baghdad, killing two people and wounding 11. It was unclear if they were Iraqis or not.

Shiites are also often targeted by Sunni terrorists, who consider them apostates.

More than 580 people have now been killed in Iraq this month, and 5,300 since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.

A study released this month by academics based in the United States, Canada and Iraq found that nearly half a million people have died from war-related causes in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003.

The past few months have seen an upsurge in terrorism, with the recent wave of bloodshed triggered after authorities in April forcibly cleared a protest tent-village erected by Sunni Muslims, who were demonstrating against what they see as the marginalization of their community by the Shiite-led government.

The uptick in violence, particularly towards the Shiite population - rivals the anti-Shiite campaign waged by the founder and former leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in the years immediately following the overthrow of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Zarqawi was eventually killed in a U.S. air force bombing raid, but the brutality of his attacks against Iraqi civilians - contributed towards a backlash against Al-Qaeda which seriously hampered the group's operations and forced it to "tone-down" its anti-Shiite campaign somewhat.

Now, a resurgent Al Qaeda has drawn on the wave of sectarian hatred fueled by the Syrian civil war to increase its operations in Iraq and Syria, merging various Islamist factions in the regions to become the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (Levant) or ISIS.

Last month, sixteen members of the same Shiite family were killed south of Baghdad.

Unknown terrorists blew up two adjacent houses belonging to brothers from a Shiite family in Latifiya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, after shooting dead sixteen members of the same family, according to eyewitnesses.

Eight women and six children are believed to be among the dead.