HILLA, Iraq (Reuters) - At least 17 civilians and soldiers were killed in car and roadside bomb attacks across Iraq on Wednesday, police and medics said.
No group claimed responsibility for any of the attacks, but Sunni Islamists and other insurgents have been regaining ground in a violent campaign to destabilize Iraq’s Shi‘ite-led government.
More than 1,000 people were killed in attacks across the country in January alone in a trend of intensifying violence that made last year the bloodiest since 2008, when sectarian warfare began to abate from its height.
In the deadliest incident, six soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol in the town of Mussayab, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police and medical sources said. Four others were seriously wounded.
A mortar attack in the same town killed one civilian, police said.
Further north in Tuz Khurmato, two separate bomb blasts killed six people, police and medical sources said.
In Salman Pak, 45 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, a car bomb exploded in busy street, killing two people, police said.
Two others were killed by a bomb attached to their vehicle in Buhriz, 60 km (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.
The army is currently locked in a standoff with militants who overran the city of Falluja in the western province of Anbar on January 1.
Among them are members of al Qaeda splinter group, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is also fighting across the border in Syria.
Reporting by Ali al-Rubaie in Hilla, Additional reporting by Mustafa Mahmoud in Kirkuk and Kareem Raheem in Baghdad; Writing by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall