Multiple attacks in the Iraqi capital Baghdad have killed at least 10 people and wounded dozens others, in a day that saw a spike of violence across the country blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Police told Al Jazeera that two improvised bombs and a car bomb exploded on Monday in the Tunis neighbourhood in the city’s north, which is populated by many Shia Muslims. Three mortar shells also exploded in a Shia camp.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from Baghdad, said that ISIL had threatened to attack Shia Muslims leading up to Ashoura, which concludes on Tuesday.
“We are seeing spikes of attacks,” he said. “This may well be a realisation of the ISIL threats.”
Shia Muslims observe the day to mourn the death of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hussein ibn Ali.
In the Baghdad suburb of Nahrawan, police said a bomb also struck a group of Shia pilgrims, killing five people and wounding 11.
Another bomb blast on a commercial street killed three people and wounded 11 others in Baghdad’s western district of Amil, while a roadside bomb struck a western suburb, killing two soldiers.
Police said three mortars landed on the edge of Baghdad’s district of Khazimiyah late on Monday, where thousands of Shia pilgrims were converging, killing five people, including some pilgrims, and wounding 17.
Earlier on Monday, ISIL claimed responsibility for two bombings on Shia pilgrims that left 23 people dead in Baghdad on Sunday.
Sunni fighters frequently target the Shia, who they consider heretics.
Sunni tribes targeted
ISIL also reportedly on Monday shot dead 36 Sunni tribesmen, including women and children, in the village of Ras al-Maa, north of Ramadi in Anbar province.
The victims belong to the Albu Nimr tribe, 200 of whom were reportedly killed in recent days.
Sheik Naim al-Gaoud, a leader of the tribe, said that 120 families were still trapped in their village.
Analysts believe ISIL may be trying to take revenge for the tribe siding with US forces in the past, as well as Iraqi security forces.
Some Sunnis in Anbar province supported ISIL when they seized Fallujah and parts of Ramadi in December.
The gains came after widespread Sunni protests against the Shia-led government in Baghdad for what they described as second-class treatment.
Since ISIL’s offensive has gathered pace, a number of Iraq’s Sunni tribes have been fundamental in stalling its advance, taking up arms and fighting alongside Iraqi security forces.
A US-led campaign of air strikes is also targeting the group, with nine strikes hitting ISIL fighters on Sunday and Monday in Baiji, Fallujah and Ar Rutbah, US Central Command said.