AL JAZEERA (Qatar), CNN (USA), REUTERS

Worldcrunch

BAGHDAD - At least 32 people have been killed and scores injured on Monday in a series of car bombs and shootings across Iraqi cities.

Reports are still conflicting as to the number of attacks and casualties in this latest spate of violence plaguing the country.

CNN reports that eight car bombs in mainly Shi'ite districts of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, killed at least 20 people on Monday.

Meanwhile, at least nine people were killed and 37 others wounded when two car bombs exploded in the predominantly Shiite Basra neighborhood in southern Iraq.

In another attack, gunmen ambushed two police checkpoints in Haditha on Monday, killing eight officers.

In Samarra, north of Baghdad, a car bomb killed two Sahwa anti-Al-Qaeda fighters and wounded 12, while a roadside bomb wounded three people in Mosul, northern Iraq.

The bodies of eight civilians who were kidnapped by gunmen on Saturday were found dead late Sunday night, officials told CNN.

Dozens of people have been killed in attacks over the past week as tensions between minority Sunni Muslims and Shi'ites who now lead Iraq have reached their highest level since U.S. troops pulled out in December 2011, Al Jazeera reports.

More than 700 people were killed in April by a U.N. count, the highest figure in almost five years, according to Reuters

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Geopolitics

Taliban And Iran: The Impossible Alliance May Already Be Crumbling

After the Sunni fundamentalist Taliban rulers retook control of Afghanistan, there were initial, friendly signals exchanged with Iran's Shia regime. But a recent border skirmish recalls tensions from the 1990s, when Iran massed troops on the Afghan frontier.

Taliban troops during a military operation in Kandahar

The clashes reported this week from the border between Iran and Afghanistan were perhaps inevitable.

There are so far scant details on what triggered the flare up on Wednesday between Iranian border forces and Taliban fighters, near the district of Hirmand in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province. Still, footage posted on social media indicated the exchange of fire was fairly intense, with troops on both sides using both light and heavy weaponry.

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