Violence across Iraq, including shelling and clashes in a militant-held city on Baghdad’s doorstep, killed 37 people on Wednesday amid a protracted surge in bloodletting with polls looming next month.

The bloodletting also wounded dozens more as the authorities struggle with the country’s worst unrest since 2008, when it was just emerging from a brutal Sunni-Shiite sectarian war that killed tens of thousands and displaced countless others.

The violence, in which more than 2,000 people have died already this year, has been primarily driven by discontent in the minority Sunni Arab community, that alleges mistreatment at the hands of the Shiite-led government and security forces, and by the civil war raging in neighbouring Syria.