At least 29 killed in car bomb attacks in Iraq: officials

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A series of car bombs in Shiite areas of Iraq, including two explosions at a popular bird market in Baghdad, killed at least 29 people and wounded 69 others on Friday, officials said.

Two car bombs struck in the north Baghdad neighborhood of Kadhimiyah, while two others were detonated in Shomali, a town south of the capital in mostly Shiite Babil province, the security and medical officials said.

Twin blasts struck just after 9:00 am (0600 GMT) at the market in Baghdad's predominantly Shiite neighborhood 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 neighborhoods 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.

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