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Iraq: Baghdad blasts kill at least 37


A series of car bombs exploded across Iraq’s capital Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 37 people and wounding more than 100, police and hospital sources said.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to brief reporters.

The bombs detonated in Sadr City, Habibiya, Qahira, and at least two other districts of the capital.

The explosions, mostly in outdoor markets, struck at the start of the local work week and appeared aimed at causing mass casualties among residents going about their morning shopping.

Bombings have increased since the start of the year with a wave of suicide attacks against mostly Shia targets, presumably by al-Qaeda-linked groups who have stepped up their campaign to intensify sectarian violence in Iraq.

A suicide bomber killed a top Iraqi army intelligence officer on Saturday after storming his home in a northern town.

No one claimed responsibility for the weekend attacks but Iraq's al-Qaeda affiliate, Islamic State of Iraq, has vowed to take back ground its fighters lost in their long battle with American and Iraqi forces.

Sunday's attacks bring to more than 100 the number of people killed in violent attacks in Iraq since the start of the month. A total of 178 were killed in January attacks, according to an Associated Press count.

(AP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

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