A spate of car bombs in Baghdad and central Iraq, including two explosions minutes apart at a popular bird market, killed 16 people and wounded dozens on Friday, security and medical officials said.
Twin blasts struck just after 9:00 am (0600 GMT) at the market in Baghdad’s predominantly Shiite neighbourhood of Kadhimiyah, an interior ministry official and a medical source said.
At least 11 people were killed and 30 others wounded in the explosions at the bird market, which is often crowded with visitors on Fridays, the weekly holiday in Iraq.
And in the predominantly-Shiite Iraqi province of Babil, two car bombs in the town of Shomali, south of Baghdad, killed five people and wounded 11 others, according to security and medical officials.
Sunni militants, including Al-Qaeda’s front group in Iraq, often target Shiite neighbourhoods with deadly attacks in a bid to push the country back to the sectarian bloodshed that blighted it from 2005 to 2008.
The violence is the latest in a spike in unrest in Iraq, which has been struck by waves of car bombs and suicide attacks in recent weeks amid a political crisis and weeks of rallies in Sunni-majority areas calling for the ouster of Shiite prime minister Nuri al-Maliki.