29 killed in Iraq car bombs targeting Shiites: officials
Firefighters hose down a destroyed vehicle at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Kirkuk, 250 km north of Baghdad February 3, 2013. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed
A series of car bombs in Shiite areas of Iraq, including two explosions at a popular bird market in Baghdad, killed at least 29 people and wounded 69 others on Friday, officials said.
Two car bombs struck in the north Baghdad neighbourhood of Kadhimiyah, while two others were detonated in Shomali, a town south of the capital in mostly Shiite Babil province, the security and medical officials said.
Sunni militants, including Al-Qaeda's front group in Iraq, often target Shiite neighbourhoods with deadly attacks in a bid to push the country back to the sectarian bloodshed that blighted it from 2005 to 2008.
The violence is the latest in a spike in unrest in Iraq, which has been struck by waves of car bombs and suicide attacks in recent weeks amid a political crisis and weeks of rallies in Sunni-majority areas calling for the ouster of Shiite prime minister Nuri al-Maliki.