A car bomb in Baghdad killed eight people and wounded 20 others on Thursday as violence continued to threaten Iraq’s fragile stability amid a row over last month’s election results.
The blast occurred near a liquor shop in Baghdad’s southwestern al-Shurta al-Rabaa area, an Interior Ministry source said. Alcohol shops have been targeted by both Sunni Islamist insurgents and Shi’ite militia in the past.
A medical source in a hospital gave a lower death toll of three people killed and 28 wounded.
Overall, violence in Iraq has fallen sharply in the last two years.
But a series of recent attacks has raised fears that Iraq could tip back into sectarian violence after a March election produced no outright winner and left a political vacuum for insurgents to exploit.
Shi’ite-led groups including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s faction are trying to overturn the slim lead of a Sunni-backed cross-sectarian alliance and deny it a chance to try to form the next government.
That could anger minority Sunnis, who dominated Iraq until Saddam Hussein was toppled in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Fifty-six people were killed last Friday in a series of bombings around Shi’ite areas of Baghdad.
Those attacks, which officials blamed on al Qaeda, were seen as a possible backlash after Iraq touted a string of blows against the Sunni Islamist insurgency and killed two of its senior leaders in Iraq.