Wave of car bomb attacks in Iraq
The Iraqi government has accused al-Qaeda of being responsible for a series of co-ordinated car bombs around the country.
At least 50 people were killed and 200 injured in attacks that targeted mainly Shia areas during rush hour.
The United Nations estimates nearly 3 thousand people have been killed in escalating violence since April.
The BBC's Bridget Kendall assesses the causes behind the recent upsurge in sectarian conflict.
- From the section Middle East