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Deadly car bombs rock Iraqi cities

At least 67 people have been killed and hundreds injured in a series of car bombs that rocked Baghdad and other Iraqi cities amid Eid al-Fitr celebrations.Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from the Iraqi capital, said 50 people had been killed in nine blasts in seven areas of the city on Saturday evening, with targets including cafes, markets and restaurants.

The attack sites were mainly Shia areas, although two were in predominantly Sunni neighbourhoods.

Khan said attacks in Shia neighbourhoods were likely to be the work of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has been resurgent in recent months.

A bomb blast in Tuz Khurmato [Reuters]

In other attacks on Saturday, at least eight people were killed and 47 injured when a car bomb exploded in the town of Tuz Khurmato, 170km north of Baghdad.

And at least five people were killed and 12 injured when a car bomb detonated amid a traffic jam on the central commercial street in the holy Shia city of Karbala, 110km south of Baghdad.

Four more were killed in two bomb blasts in Nasiriyah, 375km south of Baghdad.

The blasts are the latest in spiralling violence, with bloodshed at its worst since 2008 amid worries of a return to the all-out sectarian war that blighted Iraq years ago.

They come just weeks after brazen assaults on prisons near Baghdad by al-Qaeda linked groups that freed hundreds of fighters.

More than 800 people were killed in attacks during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ended this week.

The Interior Ministry has said the country faces an “open war” fuelled by Iraq’s sectarian divisions and has attempted to boost security in Baghdad, closing roads and sending out frequent helicopter patrols.

However, our correspondent said that the withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq 18 months ago had hit security efforts and emboldened Sunni fighters to reignite their sectarian feud.

Source: Al Jazeera

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