Bombs hit Iraq's capital Baghdad and a village near the northern town of Baquba on Wednesday (January 15), killing at least 62 people, police and hospital sources said, as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki warned that militants were trying to set up an "evil statelet".
In the deadliest incident, a bomb blew up in a funeral tent where mourners were marking the death on Monday (January 13) of a Sunni Muslim pro-government militiaman, police said. It killed 18 people and wounded 16 in Shatub, a village south of Baquba in Diyala province.
Elsewhere, at least eight bombs struck the Iraqi capital, mostly in Shi'ite districts, killing 40 people and wounding 88, police and medics said. A car bomb in Dujail, a Shi'ite town 50 km (31 miles) north of Baghdad, killed three people and wounded seven.
The bombings followed attacks that cost at least 24 lives the day before, as well as coordinated assaults by militants on a highway bridge and police station near Falluja.
Simultaneously, dozens of militants stormed a police station in Saqlawiya, whose occupants surrendered. Helicopter gunships attacked the police station, but failed to evict the militants.
Two years after U.S. troops left Iraq, violence has climbed back to its highest levels since the Sunni-Shi'ite bloodshed of 2006-2007, when tens of thousands of people were killed.
The army is locked in a standoff with Sunni militants led by al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant who overran Falluja, a city west of Baghdad, more than two weeks ago in a challenge to Maliki's Shi'ite-led government.
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