BAGHDAD — A wave of explosions tore through predominantly Shi’ite communities south of Baghdad shortly before the Muslim faithful broke their Ramadan fasts on Sunday, killing at least 28, according to officials, part of a surge of violence that is raising fears Iraq is sliding back toward full-scale sectarian fighting.
Insurgents have been pounding Iraq with bombings and other attacks for months. The pace of the killing has picked up since the Muslim holy month Ramadan began Wednesday, with daily mass-casualty attacks marring what is meant to be a month of charity and peaceful reflection.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the recent wave of attacks, but Sunni extremists, including Al Qaeda’s Iraq branch, are believed to be responsible for much of the killing.
Violence in Iraq has risen to its deadliest level since 2008, with more than 2,700 people killed since the start of April.
In the deadliest attack Sunday, at least eight people were killed and 15 were wounded in the southern port city of Basra when a car bomb and then a follow-up blast went off near an office of a Shi’ite political party, according to two police officers.
Other deadly blasts struck mainly Shi’ite communities in the towns of Kut, Karbala, Nasiriyah, and Musayyib.
Another blast struck in the southern Baghdad neighborhood of Dora, a mainly Sunni district, killing four people.