Bombings Leave at Least 58 Dead in Iraq

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BAGHDAD (AP) The car bombings that have ripped through marketplaces, parking lots and other targets today in Iraq have killed at least 58 people -- pushing the country's death toll for the month of July toward the 700 mark.

There have been at least 18 bombings today in all -- part of a wave of bloodshed that has swept across the country since April. More than 3,000 people have been killed, and the attacks have caused further strains in the ties between Iraq's Sunni minority and the Shiite-led government.

The country's Interior Ministry blames Al-Qaida's Iraqi branch, and accuses it of trying to widen the rift between Sunnis and Shiites.

Today's attacks stretched from Mosul in the north to Baghdad in central Iraq and Basra in the south. In the capital alone, police say, a dozen car bombs struck at least nine neighborhoods -- most of them predominantly Shiite -- in the span of an hour. At least 37 people were killed.