Five car bombings in the revered Iraqi city of Karbala have killed at least 15 people, Iraqi official have said.
A police officer said on Monday that the explosives-laden cars were parked in commercial areas and parking lots near government offices. He said 48 others were wounded in the explosions.
Karbala is home to two of the most sacred Shia shrines and is located about 90km south of the capital city of Baghdad.
The attacks came hours after a suicide bomber blew himself up among Shia worshippers as they were leaving a mosque in a commercial area in central Baghdad, killing at least 11 people.
It also came a day after a suicide bomber killed at least 21 people at a funeral in western Baghdad outside a Shia house of worship.
Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from Baghdad, said that more violence was expected along sectarian lines during the current Islamic month of Muharram, when Shia Muslims mourn the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussein.
“The month of Muharram has seen a spike in violence, particularly sectarian violence in the past. But since ISIL took over huge swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, we are expecting this to be much more bloodier than we’ve seen in previous years,” said our correspondent.
He added that ISIL has maintained that Shias are a target for them, while using sectarian language and sectarian violence to make further gains.
Baghdad has witnessed a surge in bombings in the past month, most of them claimed by ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as the government, headed by Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi, seeks traction in its effort to subdue Sunni-dominated parts of the country seized by the group.
Also on Monday, a suicide bomb attack by ISIL killed 15 Kurdish peshmerga fighters near the Mosul dam in northern Iraq.