Middle East

Iraq violence: Almost 50 killed in car bomb wave

Municipality workers clean the area in the aftermath of an explosion in the Karrada commercial district in Baghdad Image copyright AFP
Image caption Municipal workers clean up the area in the aftermath of an explosion in the Karrada district of Baghdad

At least 49 people have been killed in a wave of car bombs in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Hilla, officials say.

The blasts come a day after at least 23 people were killed in bomb explosions in the Iraqi capital.

Last month, more than 1,000 people were killed in attacks which mostly hit Shia and government targets.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but in the past Sunni militant groups have targeted Shia areas.

Medical sources in Hilla say the main hospital has so far received 35 bodies from seven car bombings.

In the capital Baghdad, bombs in mainly Shia districts killed at least 14 people.

In one attack, a bomb inside a parked vehicle exploded near a bus station in the capital's Bayaa district, killing five people, sources said.

Police say all Tuesday's attacks were caused by cars parked in or near commercial areas and bus stations, reports the Associated Press (AP) news agency.

Al-Jazeera also reports that 13 Iraqi soldiers were killed in a separate battle with Sunni fighters in Fallujah in Anbar province on Tuesday.

Fallujah and other cities in Anbar province have seen fierce fighting between government forces and al-Qaeda affiliated militants since December 2013.

More people were killed in Iraq in 2013 than at any point since 2008, when sectarian violence reached its peak.

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