|Children look for salvageable items amid the debris of a car bomb explosion in Sadr City, Baghdad, on Sunday [AFP]
At least 16 people have been killed and dozens injured after a wave of apparently co-ordinated bombings hit mostly Shia areas in central Iraq on Sunday.
Most of the blasts occurred in Baghdad between 7am and 8am, during rush hour on the first day of the work week, and targeted police officers and government officials, though some hit markets and injured civilians.
The coordinated attacks in Baghdad emphasised the uncertain security situation in Iraq ahead of the withdrawal of American troops at the end of the year. The last British troops in the country formally ended their mission on Sunday, and Iraq still lacks an interior or defence minister.
The deadliest attack occurred in Taji, around 25 kilometres north of the capital. Police were responding a car bombing that had struck a US patrol convoy - causing no casualties - when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest amid the crowd, killing seven police officers and injuring at least 10 others.
In Baghdad, a car bomb in the Talbiya neighbourhood near Sadr City targeted the convoy of a colonel in the Interior Ministry, Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf reported. The colonel, a manager in the Ministry's internal affairs department, was not hurt, but five other people, including two of his bodyguards, were wounded.
Two other attacks occurred in Sadr City, including a roadside bomb that exploded near the General Hospital, killing two and injuring seven, and an improvised explosive device that exploded near a market, injuring six.
Other attacks in the city targeted police, Arraf said: Two roadside bombs that exploded in Wathiq Square killed one person and wounded 12, including two police, two traffic police and two civil defence officers. One bomb in Beirut Square in the centre of the city targeted a police convoy and wounded six people.
The Shia Amal neighbourhood in west Baghdad took the heaviest bombings; four improvised explosives and one car bomb detonated in a square near a federal police building, killing two people and wounded 15 others.
Another bomb in the Sadiyah neighbourhood injured three people.
On Thursday, a double bombing at a parking garage in the northern city of Kirkuk killed at least 27 people, almost all of them police officers. Another eight officers were wounded when a roadside bomb hit their convoy as they responded to the scene.
That attack followed a jailbreak earlier this month in Baghdad, when key militants who had been linked to al-Qaeda escaped from an Interior Ministry compound, leaving a top counterterrorism official dead in the process, Arraf said.