A wave of coordinated car bombings killed more than 50 people across Iraq on Monday, as a sharp rise in sectarian violence threatens to tear the nation apart. There were ten bombings in Baghdad alone, with targets including a hospital and several markets. Bombings also killed and wounded dozens of others in Basra, Tikrit, and Kut.
The violence of the last four months is approaching the worst levels of the Iraq war, with as many as 780 people killed in July alone, a figure already topping the casualties from June. May's death toll was over 1,000, making it the deadliest month since the peak of the insurgency in 2007, when the situation following the American invasion looked the grimmest.
Since the complete withdrawal of American forces earlier this year, the fledgling Iraqi government appears to be slowly losing its grip on the country. Sectarian violence has skyrocketed, led mostly by bombings against Shiite targets led by the Al Qaeda in Iraq. (Shia political parties currently control the government, while Sunnis remains in the minority.) Just last weekend, hundreds of Al Qaeda prisoners were broken out of the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, in an attack that is certain to push the violence up even further.