AFP – Attacks in Iraq killed 14 people including six soldiers on Sunday, officials said, amid a surge in violence authorities have so far failed to stem despite wide-ranging operations targeting militants.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has vowed to press on with the anti-insurgent campaign, which is among the biggest since US forces withdrew in December 2011, but analysts and diplomats say authorities have failed to tackle the root causes of the violence.
Sunday’s violence struck north of Baghdad, in predominantly Sunni Arab areas of Iraq.
The biggest attack occurred in the province of Salaheddin, where a car bomb killed five people and wounded 21 others, among them a senior judge who was the apparent target of the blast, police and a doctor said.
In restive Nineveh province, gunmen opened fire on a van ferrying soldiers from Baghdad to their unit in the provincial capital Mosul, killing five of them, an army first lieutenant and a doctor said.
Also in Nineveh, three separate attacks by gunmen left a soldier and two civilians dead, including a member of the Shabak minority, according to police and a doctor.
The 30,000-strong Shabak community mostly lives near Iraq’s border with Turkey.
They speak a distinct language and largely follow a faith that is a blend of Shi’a Islam and local beliefs. Shabaks are frequently targeted in attacks by militants.
Two bombings at a house in Baquba, north of Baghdad, killed a child and wounded nine others, according to police and medical sources.
Violence has markedly increased in Iraq this year.
Attacks have killed more than 3,600 people since the beginning of 2013, according to figures compiled by AFP.
Analysts and diplomats link the upsurge of attacks to anger among Sunni Arabs over their alleged ill-treatment at the hands of the Shi’a-led authorities, which they say has given Sunni militant groups more room to recruit and carry out attacks.