At least 49 dead in series of Baghdad bombings

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At least 49 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in series of car blasts mostly in Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad on Tuesday, medical and security sources said.

The explosions hit a number of civilian’s shops, markets and mosques and are the deadliest attacks in the nationwide unfolding violence, AFP reported.

No group has claimed responsibility yet for the violence, but Sunni militants linked to al-Qaeda have been known to target the Iraqi Shiite minority in similar attacks.

The killing comes amid a spike in deadly violence in recent months as insurgents try to capitalize on rising sectarian and ethnic tensions, according to The Associated Press.

Officials said nine other people were killed earlier Tuesday. AFP reported that gunmen entered the home of a Sunni Arab militiaman in south Baghdad and killed him, his wife, two sons and a daughter.

The militia is known as the Sahwa, who sided with the U.S troops in fighting al-Qaeda since 2006, becoming targets for insurgents.

Violent attacks have also taken place on Monday, when prominent Sahwa leader Wisam al-Hardan managed to escape an assassination attempt by two suicide bombers. Six of his bodyguards and a bystander were killed according to AP.

Violence has been on the rise in Iraq since April, attacks have killed more than 3,900 people since the start of the year, according to an AFP tally.

(With AFP and AP)

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