Iraq blasts death toll at 88

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iol pic wld iraq blast REUTERS Security personnel inspect the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk, 250km north of Baghdad.

Baghdad - The death toll from a wave of attacks across Iraq, in which security forces and Shi’a areas were targeted, has reached 88, medics and security sources said on Monday.

More than 250 people were injured in attacks in nearly 10 towns on Sunday, a source told dpa.

Tight security measures were imposed Monday across Baghdad and troops were seen in the streets and vehicles were being searched at a greater than usual number of checkpoints.

The attacks came on the day that a Baghdad court sentenced in absentia Iraq's vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi, to death on terrorism charges.

Al-Hashemi, the country's most senior Sunni Muslim official, has called the charges a political ploy on the part of the Shi’a-led government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Since the US troops left Iraq in December, the government has been in political deadlock. Deadly attacks have meanwhile increased across the country, raising fears of a return to the sectarian tensions that drove Iraq close to civil war in 2006-2007. - Sapa-dpa

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