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Iraq faces growing violence as political rift deepens

Fears of worsening violence looms in Baghdad, emphasizing the challenges faced by Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of parliament’s biggest bloc as he attempts to form a majority government have October’s contested election. There were two explosions Sunday targeting two banks associated with Kurdish politicians in the Karrada district of central Baghdad. 

This was the latest in a series of attacks to hit the capital in a number of days. On Friday, a hand grenade was thrown at the headquarters of the Taqaddum party and a similar attack occurred hours later at the office of Khamis al-Khanjar, another Sunni politician. Previously, on January 13, a rocket attack targeted the US embassy in the Green Zone and wounded several civilians. There has not been any claim of responsibility for any of these attacks which came after the first session of the newly elected parliament on January 8. al-Sadr has committed to form a national majority government to steer away from the ethno-sectarian power-sharing arrangement known as muhassa. The distribution system that distributes power and resources between the three main religious and ethnic groups in Iraq – Shia, Sunni and Kurdish – has been protested in recent years. 

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