35 die in Iraq car bomb explosions
A series of car bombs have exploded within minutes of each other as Iraqis were out shopping in and around Baghdad, killing at least 35 people in mainly Shiite areas.
The attacks come amid rising sectarian discord in Iraq and appear aimed at shaking Iraqis' confidence in the Shiite-led government.
The explosions struck at the start of the local work week and primarily targeted outdoor markets.
Violence in Iraq has fallen since the height of sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007, but insurgents still frequently launch lethal attacks against security forces and civilians.
It was at least the third time this month that attacks have claimed more than 20 lives in a single day.
The detonation of a parked car loaded with explosives in the sprawling Shiite district of Sadr City heralded the start of the attacks on Sunday morning. Two more parked cars later exploded elsewhere in the neighbourhood.
Nima Khadum, a government employee who lives in Sadr City, said the explosions shattered the windows of his house.
He said the air afterwards was heavy with smoke while burning cars littered the street and the bodies of the dead and wounded lay nearby.
Other blasts hit the Baghdad neighbourhood of al-Amin, an open-air market in Husseiniya, just north-east of the capital, and in the Kamaliya area in Baghdad's eastern suburbs. Another car bomb exploded near street vendors and a police car in the central commercial district of Karradah.
Police and hospital officials provided the death toll and said more than 130 people were wounded. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief reporters.