"The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which rotates based on the lunar calendar, starts as early as Tuesday.
Politically-linked religious fervor tends to rise during the month, during which Muslims believe God revealed the Koran to the prophet Mohammad. Devout Muslims abstain from eating or drinking even water from sunrise to sundown to foster patience and humility.
With temperatures hovering around 120 degrees and severe electricity shortages, this Ramadan is expected to be particularly arduous for many Iraqis.
Efforts to form a government more than five months after Iraqis went to the polls have stalled over disagreements by the main political parties over who would be prime minister and little progress is expected until after Ramadan ends in September. Iraqi officials believe many of the recent attacks are aimed at discrediting the outgoing Iraqi government by showing they cannot control security."