Two truck bombs targeting a tiny sect in a village in northern Iraq and a spate of bloody bombings in Baghdad killed at least 42 people on Monday and wounded nearly 250, police said.
In the deadliest single attack, two booby-trapped lorries exploded before dawn in the village of Khaznah, east of the restive northern Iraqi city of Mosul, leaving 28 people dead and 155 wounded.
The massive blasts levelled 35 houses and gouged deep craters into the ground of the prosperous village of 3,000,
home to members of the small Shabak community, a sect of Kurdish origin.
Falah Ridha, a 23-year-old nurse wounded in the attack, said he was the only survivor of 12 people in his family home.
"Eleven people in my family were killed when their house collapsed. All of them woke up after the first bomb, but the
second bomb was very close to my house, it was like an earthquake," he said.
"No one else escaped, just me."
Mosul has been the frequent target of attacks despite a marked decline in violence elsewhere in the country, and US
commanders describe it as the last urban bastion of Al-Qaeda loyalists in Iraq.
In Baghdad, two bombs went off as day labourers were gathering in the early morning looking for jobs, police and
the interior ministry said.