An Islamic State car bomb killed 24 people in Baghdad's Sadr City district on Monday and the militants also attacked two police stations in the city of Samarra as Iraqi forces fought to oust the group from Mosul, its last major stronghold in Iraq.
At least four other attacks across Baghdad, some also claimed by Islamic State, killed nine more people earlier in the day, bringing the total death toll from bombings in the capital over the past three days to more than 60.
In the attacks in Samarra, about 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, security sources said multiple gunmen wearing suicide vests took over two police stations, killing at least seven policemen.
|People look at a burned vehicle at the site of car bomb attack in a busy square at Baghdad's sprawling Sadr City district, in Iraq January 2, 2017. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad
The mayor of Samarra, Mahmoud Khalaf, said security forces had regained control, killing at least six assailants, but declined to comment on the number of casualties on the government side.
The pro-Islamic State news agency Amaq said the militants had executed some policemen.
The upsurge in violence comes as U.S-backed Iraqi forces try to drive Islamic State from the northern city of Mosul, where the militants are putting up fierce resistance.
Islamic State has lost most of the territory it seized in a blitz across northern and western Iraq in 2014 and ceding Mosul would probably spell the end of its self-styled caliphate. But it would still be capable of waging a guerrilla-style insurgency in Iraq and plotting or inspiring attacks on the West.
"The terrorists will attempt to attack civilians in order to make up for their losses, but we assure the Iraqi people and the world that we are able to end terrorism and shorten its life," Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said after talks with visiting French President Francois Hollande.