BAGHDAD

Wave of car bomb blasts tears through Shiite areas

A wave of car bomb blasts tore through Shiite areas south of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 36 and deepening fears that Iraq is rapidly spiraling back out of control.

The attacks capped a week of turmoil that is posing the greatest test of Iraq’s stability since U.S. troops left the country in late 2011. At least 218 people have been killed in attacks and battles between gunmen and security forces that began with clashes at a Sunni protest camp in northern Iraq last Tuesday.

The unrest follows four months of widespread protests among Iraq’s Sunni minority, who feel they are discriminated against and are being marginalized by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite-led government.

Iraqi officials fear that Sunni feelings of disenfranchisement could be exploited by extremist groups such as al-Qaida and militant organizations such as the Naqshabandi Army, which is linked to Saddam Hussein’s former regime.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan

Suicide bomber kills 10, including two Afghans

A suicide bomber targeting police killed at least 10 people in northwestern Pakistan on Monday, including the son and nephew of an Afghan official involved in peace negotiations with the Taliban, authorities said.

The bomber was riding a motorcycle and detonated his explosives as the police patrol drove by in Peshawar, said city police chief Liaqat Ali Khan.

The two Afghans who were killed, Qazi Mohammad Hilal Waqad and Mohammad Idrees, were working at their country’s consulate in Peshawar, said Afghan Consul General Syed Mohammad Ibrahim Khel in Peshawar.

However, it did not appear they were the target of the attack, Khel said.

BAMA, Nigeria

Military says at least 17 died in fighting with insurgents

A military official says at least 17 people have been killed in fighting between Islamic extremists and security forces in northeastern Nigeria.

The fighting happened in Bama, a town in northeastern Borno state where insurgents have been fighting the government since 2010.

Lt. Col A.G Laka said Monday that the fighting killed at least seven police officers and 10 insurgents.

Journalists accompanying a government convoy to the area Monday did not see any of the bodies and the military routinely downplays casualty figures from fighting.

An Associated Press journalist saw burned homes and businesses burned down, something Laka blamed on insurgents using civilians as cover.

The military made a similar claim about violence in Baga, a city where local officials say at least 185 were recently killed.

— From news service reports