by Jamal Hashim
BAGHDAD, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- A new wave of bomb attacks, including 10 car bombings, targeted both Iraqi security forces and civilians across the country on Monday, killing a total of 32 people and wounding more than 100 others.
Such deadly attacks are seen as apparent attempts by insurgent groups to stir up sectarian strife among Iraqis to push the country to the brink of a civil war, amid persistent political divisions that have already paralyzed the country's government.
One of the attacks targeted a residential area inhabited by an ethnic Shiite minority named al-Shabak when a car bomb ripped through their village of Tahir-Awa, some 30 km east of Mosul, killing seven of them and wounding 14 others. Most of the victims are women and children.
In a separate incident, two roadside bombs detonated almost simultaneously in a nearby village without causing human casualty.
The Iraqi Shabak people are living in villages in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, particularly around the provincial capital city of Mosul, some 400 km north of the country's capital Baghdad.
Meanwhile, five people were killed and 25 wounded in two car bomb explosions at a residential area in the city of Tuz-Khurmato, some 200 north of Baghdad.
Separately, three policemen, including an officer, were killed and three others wounded when gunmen attacked their patrol with a bomb and gunfire on a main road near the village of Albu-Slaibi close to the town of Dhuluiyah, some 90 km north of Baghdad.
In a separate incident, a booby-trapped car went off near a bus carrying Iranian Shiite pilgrims and travelling south of the town of Dujail, some 60 km north of Baghdad, wounding 14 Iranians, the source said.
The blast also destroyed nearby cars and killed two Iraqi civilians.
Elsewhere, gunmen attacked a police checkpoint and blew up a booby-trapped car in the city of Tikrit, the capital of Salahudin province in north of Baghdad, killing a policeman and wounding four others.
In the Iraqi city of Samarra, some 120 km north of Baghdad, another car bomb went off near a police checkpoint and wounded three civilians.
In Iraq's western province of Anbar, mortar rounds landed on a residential area in the town of Rutba, some 375 km west of Baghdad, killing two people and wounding six others.
Also in the province, a car bomb struck a police patrol in the town of Khaldiyah, some 80 km west of Baghdad, killing two policemen and wounding three others, including an officer.
In Baghdad, a car bomb detonated near Uqba Bin Nafie Square in the city's central district of Karrada, killing a civilian and wounding four others.
Near Baghdad, three soldiers were wounded in a roadside bomb attack near their patrol in the town of Tarmiyah, some 20 km north of the capital, while two policemen were wounded in a separate bomb explosion near their patrol in the town of Madain, some 30 km south east of Baghdad.
In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, gunmen attacked the house of a tribal leader late Sunday at a village near the town of Qara- Tabba, some 165 km north east of Baghdad, and killed his son, grandson and a woman before they fled the scene.
On Monday morning, the attacker returned and detonated three bombs at a funeral tent set up for the victims, killing three people and wounding 10 others.
Also in the province, three people were killed and 20 wounded Monday in eight bomb and gunfire attacks, including two car bombings.
The attacks came after a series of bomb attacks struck the city of Kirkuk Sunday night, which killed at least 11 people and wounded some 50 others.
Observers said the attacks are part of an attempt by insurgent groups, including al-Qaida militant group, to show that they are capable of carrying out coordinated and high-profile attacks to undermine the Iraqi government's promise of providing security to Iraqis.
The attacks also reflect the insurgent groups' intention to stir up sectarian strife among Iraqis and raise fears that the country could be brought back to widespread violence, particularly as Iraq is trying to avoid the spillover of violence from the ongoing conflict in neighboring Syria.
Violence in Iraq has ebbed from its climax in 2006 and 2007, when sectarian conflicts pushed the country to the brink of a civil war, but tensions and sporadic shootings and bombings are still common across the country.