At least 23 people were killed in bombings and shootings in Iraq on Friday, police and medical sources said, the latest in the worst wave of sectarian attacks to sweep the country in five years.
The deadliest attack took place in a predominantly Sunni Doura neighborhood in southern Baghdad, where two roadside bombs exploded near a soft drinks store, killing six people and wounding 18, the police and medics said.
Another roadside bomb hit the vehicle of a government-backed Sunni militia's patrol in the Sunni neighborhood of Tarmiya in the north of the Iraqi capital, killing three fighters and wounding another three, police said.
Two roadside bombs also went off near Sunni mosques in the southern and western outskirts of Baghdad after Friday prayers, killing three worshippers and wounding 12, the police said.
Another bomb targeted worshippers as they were leaving a Sunni mosque after Friday prayers in the capital's southwestern Saydiyah neighborhood, killing three and wounding nine, another police officer said.
In two other Baghdad areas, a doctor was killed when a bomb attached to his car exploded and a police officer was shot dead while driving his car, police said.
To the north of the Iraqi capital, a bomb targeted a patrol of pro-government anti-al-Qaida Sunni militiamen in the town of Tarmiyah, killing three and wounding two, police said. Al-Qaida sees the militia, known as an Awakening Council, as traitors since it was set up by U.S. forces during the height of Iraq's insurgency.
Violence in Iraq in the past eight months has killed more than 5,500, according to the United Nations. Thursday's explosion brings the death toll across the country this month to 292, according to an Associated Press count.