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Baghdad car bombings kill dozens

A wave of car bombs in Baghdad has killed 32 people and wounded dozens, the latest attacks in a months-long surge in violence.

Attacks have been on the rise in Iraq since a deadly security crackdown in April on a Sunni protest camp. More than 3,000 people have been killed in violence during the past few months, raising fears Iraq could see a new round of widespread sectarian bloodshed similar to that which brought the country to the edge of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

In the deadliest of the blasts across Baghdad, police said one car bomb struck near a bus station in the northern Shiite neighbourhood of Khazimiyah, killing eight people and wounding 18 there.

Another car bomb exploded near a gathering of daily labourers in the Allawi area near the fortified Green Zone where government offices are located, killing six people and wounding 13. In eastern Baghdad, seven people were killed and 15 others were wounded when a car bomb went off near a traffic police office in Baladiyat neighbourhood.

Associated Press television footage from the Baladiyat blast showed smoke rising from charred cars and people mourning one of those killed there.

Also, a car bomb hit a row of shops in the Bab al-Muadham area, killing 4 people and wounding 12. In western Baghdad, a sticky bomb attached to a cart selling gas cylinders, killed three people and wounded 8 others.

A car bomb hit near car repairing shops in the city's northeastern suburb of Husseiniyah, killing four people and wounding 15, police said.

Mohammed Sabri, a retired government employee, was on his way to the market in Husseiniyah when he heard a thunderous explosion. "I got closer and saw burning cars, two charred bodies and several people on the ground," he said. "Security officials keep telling us that their forces are able to protect us, but this has not happened yet."

And in the Shiite neighbourhood of Sadr city, a car bomb exploded near a line of shops, wounding seven people, police said.

There was no claim of responsibility but Sunni extremists such as a Qaida's Iraq arm that seek to undermine the Shiite-led government are frequently blamed for attacks targeting civilians. The attacks came a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed to continue targeting and arresting insurgent groups in response to the wave of deadly attacks that hit the country recently.

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