Seven bombs ripped through Baghdad killing five people Thursday, hours after Americanlawmakers criticised the slow pace of political reconciliation in Iraq which they said was stoking the worsening violence.

The blasts, which mostly targeted Shiite-majority neighbourhoods of the Iraqi capital, come amid the country’s worst protracted period of unrest since 2008 as security forces grapple with near-daily attacks and battles with anti-government fighters in Anbar province.

Diplomats and analysts have called for the Shiite-led government to do more to reach out to disaffected Sunnis, but with parliamentary elections looming in April, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has taken a hard line. […]