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59 dead as twin bomb attacks target Baghdad market

Militants have attacked an outdoor market in eastern Baghdad, killing at least 59 people and wounding nearly 100.

A bomb ripped through the crowded Mredi market in the Shiite district of Sadr City, a police officer said. Minutes later, a suicide bomber blew himself up amid the crowd that had gathered at the site of the first blast.

Iraqi interior ministry spokesman Sad Main said the bombings killed 38 people and injured another 62.

Hospital officials later increased the casualty toll to 59 dead and 95 wounded.

The attack was the deadliest in a wave of recent explosions that have targeted commercial areas in and outside Baghdad.

In the town of Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, three shoppers were killed and 10 injured in a bomb explosion. Four others were killed in a separate bomb attack in Baghdad's southern Dora neighbourhood.

The Islamic State-affiliated Aamaq news agency later claimed responsibility for the Sadr City bombings.

The militant Sunni Muslim group controls key areas in northern and western Iraq and regularly targets government forces, civilians and especially Shiites, who the IS regards as heretics.

The attacks came hours after security forces repelled an attack by IS militants on the capital's western suburb of Abu Ghraib.

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