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Wave of car bomb attacks in Iraq

29 July 2013 Last updated at 22:51 BST

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.