Deadly car bombings hit Baghdad Shia districts

Aftermath of car bomb in Baghdad (13 May 2014) No group immediately said it was behind the attacks during the morning rush hour

A series of car bomb attacks has killed at least 25 people and wounded 80 in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, officials say.

Eight cars packed with explosives were blown up during the morning rush hour in predominantly Shia Muslim areas in the north, east and centre of the city.

The blasts came as Shia marked the birthday of Imam Ali, the Prophet Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law.

They were also the first major attacks in Baghdad since the parliamentary elections on 30 April.

Officials are still tallying votes from the polls, which took place amid a surge in sectarian violence that has so far left 3,000 people dead this year.

There was no voting in a third of the western province of Anbar, where Sunni tribesmen and militants linked to the jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) control the city of Falluja and parts of Ramadi.

In Tuesday morning's attacks, two car bombs were detonated in the north-eastern suburb of Sadr City, killing six people and wounding 13.

Smoke rises from Baghdad's Sadr City district after a car bombing on 13 May 2014 Two car bombs were detonated in the north-eastern suburb of Sadr City

Television footage showed a plume of thick smoke rising from cars set alight by one of the blasts.

Two car bombs also exploded near a traffic police office in neighbouring Baladiyat, killing three people. Another three died when a car bomb exploded on a commercial street in nearby Jamila.

Five people were killed and 11 wounded in the northern district of Urr, while blasts also shook Maamil, in the east, and Karrada, in the centre.

No group immediately said it was responsible for the blasts, but in the past Sunni militant groups have carried out similar co-ordinated bomb attacks in Shia areas of the capital.

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