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Baghdad official escapes bombing as attacks kill 11

World News : The head of Baghdad provincial council escaped assassination when a car bomb hit his convoy on Sunday, part of a wave of nationwide violence that left 11 people dead.

The attacks were the latest in a surge in unrest in recent months that has sparked concern Iraq is slipping back into the all-out sectarian bloodshed that plagued the country in 2006 and 2007.

The car bomb against the four-vehicle convoy of Riyadh al-Adhadh, the chief of the provincial council and a Sunni lawmaker belonging to the party of the national parliament speaker, killed two people and wounded four others, according to police and a medical source.

Adhadh was unharmed but one of his bodyguards was killed in the bombing, which struck in the Waziriyah neighbourhood of north Baghdad.

The blast shattered the windows of nearby shops and buildings, and security forces imposed a cordon around the scene in the aftermath of the attack, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.

Another car bombing at a market on the outskirts of the southern port city of Basra killed three people and wounded 15 others, officials said.

Attacks south of Baghdad — in Karbala, Nasiriyah, Hilla and Hafriyah — as well as the predominantly Sunni cities of Abu Ghraib and Mosul left six others dead.

The latest bloodshed comes amid a months-long increase in violence, Iraq’s worst since 2008, with the country grappling with a prolonged political deadlock and spillover from the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

Just a day earlier, a suicide bomber at a funeral near Mosul, Iraq’s main northern city, killed 27 people and wounded dozens more, while violence in just the past week has left more than 150 people dead.

Authorities have sought to combat the bloodshed with a range of anti-militant operations and tight traffic rules in the capital, but militants have pressed their attacks.

Officials insist a weeks-long campaign targeting militants is yielding results, but the government has faced criticism for not doing more to defuse anger in the Sunni Arab community over alleged ill-treatment at the hands of the Shia-led authorities.

Analysts and diplomats say militant groups have exploited that on the ground to recruit new fighters and carry out attacks. Agencies

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