BAGHDAD, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Iraq's Muslim sectarian violence escalated Sunday, with bomb attacks reported in at least five cities and the death toll at 37, government officials said.
The attacks all targeted domestic security forces and injured hundreds of people, the Interior Ministry told CNN.
In the northern city of Kirkuk, two car bombs exploded, killing eight people and injuring at least 100 others outside a government intelligence office and police recruiting center, the report said.
South of Kirkuk, insurgents staged a deadly booby-trap for Iraqi soldiers in Tikrit by opening fire on a military checkpoint and then detonating a bomb when reinforcements arrived, the government said.
Seven soldiers were killed and at least seven others were wounded.
In the western city of Basra, a bomb at a market killed three people. Three bombs went off in the city of Taji and two deadly explosions were reported in Nasiriya.
The attacks that the Shiite Muslim government attributes to al-Qaida-linked Sunni Muslim insurgents are heightening with the coming withdrawal of U.S. troops in December, CNN said.