Car bombs Baghdad
10 car bombs explode in Iraq (Reuters)

Baghdad was rocked by a coordinated multiple car bomb attack on Sunday, with up to 10 explosions reported to have killed 37 people.

Reports suggest that several bombs exploded within 30 minutes of one another. The mainly commercial Shaab neighbourhood in northern Baghdad was one of the worst-hit areas with two bombs exploding, killing five and wounding at least 17, according to Al Jazeera. Sunni militants have been blamed for the attacks, which targeted mainly Shia areas.

This year's escalating violence has raised concern that the situation could soon match the bloody conflict of 2006-2007, in which tens of thousands died.

Events in neighbouring Syria, which has been descending into civil war, are said to have played a part in the growing conflict in Iraq, heightening sectarian tensions.

The death toll for this month was in the hundreds before the latest attack. Last month left 1,000 people dead and 2,000 wounded, the highest toll since 2008.

A recent BBC investigation highlighted Iraq's never-ending security crisis and how car bomb explosions are now commonplace. There have been 38 serious car bomb incidents in the last 12 months.

The Shia-led government that was imposed after the US invasion in 2003 has been criticised and accused of failing to address grievances among the Sunni Arab minority. There have also been allegations of abuse by security forces.