Fifty four people killed in Baghdad
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  • According to reports, attacks including car bombs killed at least 54 people in Iraq, taking the July death toll to more than 790. More than 3,000 people have been killed in violence since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources, a surge in unrest that the Iraqi government has so far failed to stem. 11 car bombs hit nine different areas of Baghdad, seven of them Shia-majority, while another exploded in Mahmudiyah to the south of the capital. A roadside bomb also killed five policemen, including a lieutenant colonel, north of Tikrit, while a magnetic “sticky bomb” killed a police captain in Anbar province. The highway killings were reminiscent of the darkest days of Sunni-Shia sectarian bloodshed in Iraq in 2006-2007, when thousands of people were killed because of their religious affiliation or forced to abandon their homes under threat of death. Lingering tensions between Sunnis and Shias have been inflamed by persistent violence in Iraq and the civil war in neighbouring Syria, and there are growing fears that the country is slipping back towards all-out sectarian conflict. 1