A wave of bombings targeting Shiites in Iraq killed 72 people on Thursday, deepening sectarian tensions that exploded just after the last American troops left the country in mid-December.

The coordinated attacks targeting Shiites bore the hallmarks of Sunni insurgents linked to al-Qaida, although there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The bombings began early in the morning when explosions struck two Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing at least 27 people

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