A string of bombings in mostly Shiite-majority cities across Iraq today killed at least 36 people and wounded dozens, officials said, a grim reminder of the government's failure to stem the uptick in violence that is feeding sectarian tensions in the country.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attacks, but car bombs are frequently used by al-Qaeda's Iraq branch.
The Sunni militant group and other Sunni extremists often targets Shiite civilians in an effort to undermine the Shiite-led government. Al-Qaeda's extremist ideology considers Shiites heretics.
The deadliest of today's attacks, which targeted mainly commercial areas and bus stations, was in the southern city of Hillah, 95 kilometres south of Baghdad.
Back-to-back car bombings hit an outdoor market there, killing eight people and wounding 22, a police officer said.
Two parked car bombs ripped through a commercial area in the city of Suwayrah, 40 kilometres south of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 14. Two other car bombs exploded simultaneously in the city of Kut, 160 kilometres southeast of Baghdad, killing four and wounded 16.
In nearby city of Samawah, 370 kilometres southeast of Baghdad, four people were killed and 13 wounded when two car bombs exploded. Two other car bombs killed three and wounded 13 in the city of Diwaniyah, 130 kilometres south of the capital.
In the northern city of Samarra, two people were killed and 15 were wounded when a bomb targeted a gathering of mourners for some of the 17 people who were killed in a car bombing there yesterday.
Five other people were killed and 34 were wounded in other attacks in the southern city of Basra and the central towns of Mahmoudiyah and Madain.
In western Baghdad, police said a bomb went off near a row of shops, killing two people and wounding nine others.
Shortly before sunset, three people were killed and 15 others were wounded when a bomb exploded near a soccer field in Baghdad's mainly Shiite southeastern suburb of Nahrwan.
Medical officials confirmed the causalities. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media.
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