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Middle East

Series of deadly blasts hit Iraqi capital

At least 36 people are killed and dozens wounded in Shia Muslim areas of Baghdad, officials say.
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2013 01:37

A series of car bombs has killed at least 36 people and wounded dozens of others in Shia Muslim areas of Baghdad, officials say.

The attacks on Sunday, the start of the local work week, mostly targeted outdoor markets. Officials said all of the blasts were caused by parked car bombs.

The detonation of a parked car loaded with explosives in the Shia district of Sadr City heralded the start of the attacks late on Sunday morning. Two more parked cars later exploded elsewhere in the poor neighbourhood.

Other blasts erupted in the Baghdad neighbourhood of al-Amin, in an open-air market in Husseiniya, just northeast of the capital, and in the Kamaliya area in Baghdad's eastern suburbs. In all, eight car bombs and two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had exploded by 2:00pm local time (11:00 GMT).

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Police and hospital officials provided the death toll, saying nearly 88 people were wounded in the blasts.

Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf, reporting from Baghdad, said the attacks were "well planned and well co-ordinated".

"[The bombs were placed in] marketplaces and other places where there seemed to be just ordinary civilians. This was midmorning, so those places [...] would have been packed," she said.

Police in Tikrit, meanwhile, said on Sunday morning that they had defused 11 roadside bombs before they could explode, Arraf reported.

Violence in Iraq has fallen since the height of sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007, but lethal attacks are still common.

A suicide bomber killed a top Iraqi army intelligence officer on Saturday after storming his home in a northern town
and armed groups set off car bombs in Shia areas across the country at the start of the month, killing 34 people.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks on Sunday.

The attacks bring the number of people killed in violence this month to at least 150, according to a tally based on reports from security and medical officials nationwide maintained by the AFP news agency.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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