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Car bomb attacks kill dozens in separate Baghdad blasts

Ten car bomb blasts in Baghdad have killed dozens of people. The blasts occurred in Shiite neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital and pushed the death toll for violence in Iraq this year to levels not seen in years.

The 10 attacks occurred within 30 minutes of each other. Bombs were placed in parked cars in six different neighborhoods on Sunday, according to news reports citing security and medical personnel. At least 61 people have been killed.

In the southern town of Nahrawan, seven people were killed. The neighborhoods of Shaab, Mashtal, Sab al-Bor, Hurriyah, Baladiyat and Ur were also hit by attacks.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bomb attacks, but they do bear the hallmarks of attacks carried out by Sunni militants, which have been known to target Shiite Muslims in the past.

This year, violence in Iraq has spiked to levels not seen since 2008, when sectarian violence peaked. Citing security and medical sources, the AFP news agency says over 5,000 people have been killed in violence in Iraq this year.

Reuters, citing the Iraq Body Count monitoring group, places that figures at 3,000.

The bombings come as Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki prepares to travel to Washington. There, he is expected to press US President Barack Obama to speed up the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to patrol the border with Syria.

Iraq’s Deputy National Security Adviser, Safa al-Sheikh Hussein, says the country needs the planes now, to combat al Qaeda insurgents who are making advances in the west of the country.

mz/ipj (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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