A soldier inspects a damaged vehicle at the site of a bomb attack in Sadr city in northeastern Baghdad. Photo credit to Reuters.

Baghdad, Iraq – A sequence of car bombs killed at least 17 people across Iraq last Wednesday. It was the eve of a Muslim festival to mark the start of the Islamic year.

A car bomb aiming a security convoy blasted near 2 hotels at central Baghdad, killing 1 near the scene of the blast, 7 were wounded.

In Kirkuk, 9 people were killed including five Iraqi soldiers and 31 people were wounded when 3 car bombs blasted in and around the north of Baghdad.

In Hilla, a car bomb blasted near an outdoor market, killing 5 people and wounding 12 others. Hilla, which is predominately Shiite, is in Babel Province.

In Diyala Province, 2 roadside bombs and a car bomb, all in different areas, wounded 11 people. One aimed the convoy of Diyala Gov. Omer Aziz al-Hamri, but wasn’t hurt from the chaos.

Baghdad’s Shiite-dominated government has blamed the recent attacks on Sunni insurgents with ties to al Qaeda.

Aggression has dropped dramatically in Iraq since the peak of Sunni-Shiite clashes last 2006 and 2007 and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country in December 2011, but insurgent attacks against civilians and security forces persist. Many areas are still fuming with sectarian tension and political infighting.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden contacted Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki last Tuesday night to reaffirm U.S. support of the Iraqi government. The 2 men also discussed the Syrian crisis.

Health officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though suicide car bombings are a favorite tactic of Sunni militant groups such as al-Qaida.

Violence has ebbed in Iraq, but insurgent attacks, often aimed at undermining the stability of the Shiite-led government, are still frequent.