Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 13:07 UK

Baghdad Shia areas hit by blasts killing at least 35


The attacks left scenes of devastation

Bombs have destroyed seven buildings in three areas of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, killing at least 35 people and wounding 130, an Iraqi official says.

The attacks took place in mainly Shia areas of the capital.

The explosions come just two days after suicide blasts near foreign embassies in the capital killed at least 41 people.

The bombings ended a period of relative calm following last month's parliamentary elections.

The election gave a slender lead to former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi but there is continued uncertainty over who will form the country's next government.

On Tuesday at least three of the blasts destroyed apartment buildings in northern Baghdad, and one building in the south western part of the city.

map of Baghdad

Attackers detonated seven blasts across the city, using homemade bombs and a car packed with explosives, Iraqi military spokesman Maj Gen Qassim al-Moussawi told AP news agency.

Some buildings collapsed under the force of the blast, burying residents under the rubble, the BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says.

A restaurant in the central area near Haifa Street was also destroyed, reports said.

The areas were reportedly strongholds of the Mehdi Army, the armed militia connected to the Sadrist Movement led by Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr.

By attacking Shia areas, the bombers appear set on rekindling sectarian passions, as happened in 2006, our correspondent says.

Fears have been expressed that political wrangling to form a new government might leave a vacuum which insurgents could exploit, he adds.

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