Iraq blasts death toll at 88


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.

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Security personnel inspect the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk, 250km north of Baghdad.

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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