Nearly 80 people have been killed and hundreds more hurt in a series of bombings across the Iraqi capital amid worsening sectarian violence.
More than a dozen blasts tore through Shi’ite markets and shopping districts.
No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts but Sunni Islamist insurgents and al-Qaeda’s Iraqi wing have increased attacks since the start of the year and often target Shi’ite districts.
“A driver hit another car and left pretending to bring
traffic police. Another car rushed to take him away and right after his car exploded among people who had gathered to see what was happening,” said bystander Hassan Kadhim. “People were shouting for help and blood covered their faces.”
Nearly 400 people have been killed this month as sectarian tensions, fuelled by the civil war in neighbouring Syria, threaten to plunge Iraq back into communal bloodletting.
The latest surge in violence began in April after a raid by the Iraqi army on a Sunni Muslim protest camp in the town of Hawija led to clashes with the security forces and more attacks.