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Page last updated at 21:08 GMT, Sunday, 28 September 2008 22:08 UK

Many killed in Baghdad bombings

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Aftermath of the bombings in Baghdad

At least 32 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in a string of bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, police have said.

Twelve died in a car-bomb attack in the south of the city, shortly before the Iftar meal, when Muslims break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

Two further bombings struck the Karrada district later in the evening, leaving at least 19 people dead and 70 wounded.

Another person died in a car bomb earlier in the day in western Baghdad.

Last week, the senior US military commander in the capital, Maj-Gen Jeffery Hammond, said it had so far witnessed the least violent Ramadan in three years. However, he cautioned that the past few days had seen a spike in attacks.

Shoppers targeted

The first major bomb, planted inside a minibus, exploded late in the afternoon in the Shurta neighbourhood of south Baghdad, as people were out shopping for food for Iftar. At least 12 people were killed and 30 wounded, police said.

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At about the same time, another car bomb exploded in the car park of a market in the nearby Hay al-Amil district, killing one person.

Sometime after the Iftar meal had ended, a third car bomb and a roadside bomb struck in a busy part of Karrada, where many people were buying gifts and food ahead of a six-day public holiday beginning on Tuesday with the feast day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.

"The insurgents... [want] to show there is no security in Baghdad," an Iraqi government security spokesman, Qassim Moussawi, told the Reuters news agency, adding that their attacks were hard to stop.

The Iraqi army says violence in the capital has spiked in the past two weeks.

There have been several car bombs in the city centre and violent attacks elsewhere in the country too, the BBC's Hugh Sykes says.

At least eight children have been killed, and 35 members of a joint police-Sunni Arab Awakening movement patrol died last week when they were shot in an ambush in a village near Baquba, in Diyala Province, known to be a stronghold of al-Qaeda in Iraq.



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