BAGHDAD — Car bombs ripped through two Iraqi cities on Monday, killing at least 11 people, Iraq officials said, in the latest attacks targeting the country's Shiites a month after the U.S. military withdrawal.
The first blast struck a Shiite district outside of Mosul, a predominantly Sunni city about 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, police and health officials at Mosul's Al-Jomhouri hospital said. Eight people were killed and six wounded.
A few hours later, an explosives-laden car detonated inside an industrial zone of the predominantly Shiite town of Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 15, according to a local police spokesman, Muthana Khalid.
In Mosul, a member of the local council, Qusai Abbas, said the car bomb blew up near a group of houses where members of the Shabak minority have settled since being driven out of Mosul by Sunni militants during fierce sectarian fighting a few years ago. The Shabaks are ethnic Turkomen and Shiite Muslims.
Abbas, who represents the Shabak community in the local council, said three children and four women were among those killed in Monday's attack. He said Iraqi security forces have failed to protect people from violence and blamed politicians "who want to stir up sectarian fighting again."
Violence has surged since the last U.S. troops left the country. A string of bombings has left at least 150 people dead since the beginning of the year. Most attacks appear aimed at Shiites, suggesting Sunni insurgents are seeking to undermine the Shiite-dominated government.