May 18 - A series of explosions strike predominantly-Sunni areas of Iraq on Friday, leaving scores dead. Tom Dinham reports.
Sectarian violence intensifies in Iraq with a series of car bombings targeting Sunni Muslim areas of the country. Nineteen people were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near a commercial complex in the predominantly Sunni Amiriya district in the west of Baghdad. The blast followed two explosions outside a Sunni mosque in the city of Baquba earlier in the day. Elsewhere, four people were killed when a roadside bomb went off next to a coffee shop in the western city of Falluja. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED EYEWITNESS, SAYING: "This is a coffee shop and restaurant. Those who attacked us didn't threaten us before to tell us the reason for the attack. They just suddenly blew up the restaurant and killed these people. May Allah bless the victim's souls and compensate them with paradise. " Friday's attacks come after a string of bombings in Shia neighbourhoods of Baghdad on Wednesday and Thursday. The conflict in neighbouring Syria, where mostly Sunni rebels are trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad, who follows the Alawite offshoot of Shi'ite Islam, has put further pressure on Iraq's delicate intercommunal balance.