A series of bombings erupted in Iraq over the weekend. Baghdad and its northern neighbor Kirkuk were the hardest hit and sustained the most casualties. The total number of fatalities tallied at over three dozen with more than 100 wounded.
Bombings occur in Iraq on a daily basis, though the number has diminished over the last few years. This attack, however, served as a hellish reminder that an active insurgency remains in the country and will probably not be dissipating anytime soon.
In the village of Al Malhaa, nine people were killed and 24 wounded when a series of explosions rocked the area. The village is located in Kirkuk and is largely divided between Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens, all of whom are at odds with one another over conflicting interests.
In Baghdad, an assassination attempt was made on the minister of health, Majeed Hamad Amin after a bomb was set off in the direction of his convoy. Though he escaped uninjured, the blast claimed the lives of two pedestrians.
Despite the increased onslaught of recent attacks, statistics released by the United Nations reveal that violence has remained quite steady and that Iraqi security forces have done quite well on their own since the withdrawal of American troops.
The attacks are believed to be attributed in part to political unrest. The government is lead mostly by Shiite Muslims with a small Kurdish minority. Disputes escalated between the two groups when Kurdish authorities entered a business deal with Exxon Mobil, which the Baghdad government proclaimed is illegal. The government is now threatening to withhold a portion of budget that is owed to Kurdistan.
Without the presence of an American force, Iraq is left to deal with the unrelenting sectarian violence. It is up to the Iraqi government now to find compromise over the differences that have divided its people for so long. Further division created in the political aisle will only beget more violence.