Bombings near Baghdad killed at least 10 people Monday in a second day of deadly violence that, coupled with a prolonged political stalemate, has spurred fears of a revival of full-blown sectarian war.
The attacks in Taji and Fallujah struck a day after a string of car bombs and shootings, mostly in the Shiite-majority southern Iraq, killed 33, the latest in a surge in nationwide unrest with violence at its highest levels since 2008.
No group has claimed responsibility for any of the attacks, but Sunni militant groups linked to Al-Qaeda frequently carry out bombings in a bid to undermine confidence in the Shiite-led authorities and security forces.
On Monday, two separate explosions struck Taji, which lies just north of Baghdad.
One of the blasts went off inside a restaurant, killing seven, while the other detonated inside a minibus, leaving one person dead, officials said.
And in Fallujah, west of the capital, a suicide bomb outside the gates of the city's police headquarters killed two policemen and wounded 21 others.
There has been a heightened level of unrest since the beginning of the year in Iraq, coinciding with rising discontent among the Sunni Arab minority that erupted into protests in late December.
Analysts say a lack of effort by the Shiite-led authorities to address the underlying causes of the demonstrations has given militant groups fuel and room to manoeuvre to carry out their activities.