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Iraq blasts kill dozens as sectarian tensions rise

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Iraq blasts kill dozens as sectarian tensions rise
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Dozens of people have been killed in a series of bombings in Iraq.

The deadliest blast was in Diwaniya where at least 40 people died when a bomb in a small truck exploded. It happened near a mosque where pilgrims were gathering for a Shi’ite celebration.

Diwaniya is some 40 kilometres from the holy city of Karbala where an attack at a vegetable wholesale market took place earlier. Two car bombs went off, killing at least four Shi’ite pilgrims.

“The first explosion was there,” said one eyewitness in Karbala, pointing to debris from the blast. “People ran away from it and came here. Once they arrived, the second bomb exploded.”

North of the capital, in the Sunni city of Taji, at least three people were killed in bomb blasts, including a policeman.

Attacks have increased in Iraq in recent weeks, raising fears it may slip back into widespread violence between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims.