(BAGHDAD) — At least 18 people were killed in Iraq Thursday by a series of bomb blasts that mostly targeted Shiite civilians in Baghdad.
Government officials said it was the bloodiest day in over a month as more than four dozen others were wounded by the attacks believed to have been carried out by either al Qaeda or Sunni insurgents.
The deadliest bombing occurred outside a restaurant frequented by Shiites in a northwestern section of the capital.
According to police, 13 people died when a car bomb exploded, while 37 others were treated for injures. Some said the blast could be heard from blocks away.
The attacks are raising fears that Iraq may be headed toward another round of sectarian warfare that nearly destroyed the fragile democracy in 2006.
Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been criticized for trying to consolidate power and marginalizing Sunnis and Kurds in the process.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Don Melvin and Greg Botelho, CNN Newswire
Ralph Ellis, Ben Wedeman and Michael Pearson, CNN