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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 June, 2005, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
Baghdad reels from multiple bombs
Injured Iraqi in Baghdad
Thursday's blasts targeted police and Shias
More than 30 people have been killed in a series of car bombings in Baghdad within 12 hours.

Three early morning blasts in the Karrada commercial district left at least 15 dead and 50 wounded.

The attacks targeted a Shia mosque and a police patrol, killing at least three officers. The third blast took place outside a public bath-house, or hamam.

The explosions came hours after at least 18 people died in five blasts in a Shia district of the city.

The attacks happened despite a continuing security operation in Baghdad specifically designed to reduce the number of car bombs.

Only last weekend senior American and Iraqi generals were claiming some success for Operation Lightning, which began in May.

Karrada commercial district, Baghdad

The bombs on Wednesday exploded as dozens of political leaders pledged support for Iraq at a conference on the future of the country in Brussels, co-hosted by the EU and the US.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan spoke of a "turning point" for the country.

He told delegates the international community was determined to ensure that Iraqi reconstruction was a success.

Malnourished children

More than 1,000 Iraqis have been killed in the two months since a Shia-led government was formed.

The mainly Sunni insurgents look set on trying to provoke a civil war and undermine Iraqi security services, the BBC's Jon Leyne reports from Baghdad.

Speaking in Brussels, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Iraq's neighbours - and Syria in particular - had to do more to help to stop the insurgency in the country.

Stagnant water and litter on the streets of Baghdad
Officials say attacks are diverting from reconstruction

US officials have warned that too much money earmarked for rebuilding Iraq is being diverted to tackle security demands.

The head of the reconstruction office said rebuilding was a costly and "risky" business, and there was "a long way to go" to provide adequate services to Iraqis.

A United Nations survey released last month found that Iraqi living standards have been plummeting.

More than two years since the war ended, just over half the population has access to safe drinking water, there are daily power cuts, and almost a quarter of young children are chronically malnourished, the survey found.




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