A coordinated wave of car bombings tore through mostly Shiite areas of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 66 people and maiming nearly 200 as insurgents step up the bloodshed roiling Iraq.
The attacks in markets and other areas frequented by civilians are the latest sign of a rapid deterioration in security as sectarian tensions are exacerbated by anti-government protests and the war in neighboring Syria grinds on.
More than 450 people have been killed across Iraq in May. Most of the killings came over the past two weeks in the most sustained wave of violence since U.S. troops left in December 2011.
The surge in attacks is reminiscent of the sectarian carnage that pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007. April was Iraq’s deadliest month since June 2008, according to a United Nations tally that put last month’s death toll at more than 700.