At least twelve people have been killed and 50 others have been injured in separate bombings and shooting incidents across Iraq. An Interior Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said eight people were killed and 49 others wounded when twin bombs went off in quick succession in the Baab al-Darwazah market area in Baghdad’s northern neighborhood of Kadhimiyah on Saturday, AFP reported. Police said most of the victims were women and children. “We heard a loud explosion so we ran to see what happened ... there was big mess near the explosion scene, clothes, toes, food and bodies were everywhere,” an unnamed policeman at the scene said. He added, “Many wounded people were shouting and looking for their relatives.” In another incident, gunmen with silenced weapons opened fire on a police patrol in Baghdad’s northern neighborhood of Shaab, killing two policemen. Later in the day, an official, working at a prison on Baghdad's outskirts, was fatally shot as he was driving on the al-Qanat highway in eastern Baghdad. Another prison official in the car was wounded. In addition, armed men shot dead a soldier while he was outside his home on leave in Mosul, situated some 400 kilometers (248 miles) north of the capital Baghdad.
Bombings and shootings have recently increased across Iraq, and many believe that the attacks are being carried out to undermine the central government.Official figures show that September was the bloodiest month in Iraq in almost two years, with attacks killing 365 people, the highest monthly death toll since August 2010. The statistics, which were compiled by the health, interior, and defense ministries, show that 182 civilians, 88 police officers, and 95 soldiers were killed in attacks in September. The violence reached a crescendo on September 8 and 9, when more than 30 attacks killed at least 88 people and injured more than 400. September 30 was the second deadliest day of the month, with a death toll of 33 and 106 injured. Violence has increased in Iraq since December 2011, when an arrest warrant was issued for fugitive Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who has been charged with running a death squad targeting Iraqi officials and Shia Muslims. In response, the government has stepped up efforts to increase security across the country over the past few months. MP/AS