A dozen bombings across Iraq killed at least 62 people Sunday, according to the Associated Press count, marking the latest in what has been a surge in sectarian attacks that has engulfed the country in large part due to Syria’s civil war. The government is blaming al-Qaida-linked Sunni Islamists for the killings that “are running at daily rates not seen in five years,” notes Reuters. More than 5,000 people have been killed since April, according to the AP.
“The deterioration of security in Iraq is one of the shockwaves of the Syrian crisis,” an adviser to Iraq’s Defense Ministry said. “Al-Qaida is working now to undermine Maliki’s government because they think this is one way to accelerate the fall of the Syrian regime.”
The deadliest attack since Oct. 5 comes as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is getting ready to meet President Barack Obama on Friday, when he is expected to ask the United States to speed up the delivery of military equipment, including drones and jets.