Dozens killed as series of car bombs hits mainly Shiite areas in and around Baghdad

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Associated Press

Posted on February 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Updated Sunday, Feb 17 at 11:06 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) — Shiite neighborhoods in Iraq's capital have been hit by a series of car bombs today.

Police and hospital officials say at least 37 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded as car bombs tore through shopping areas within minutes of each. The explosions struck at the start of the local work week and primarily targeted outdoor markets.

Sectarian tensions have been growing in Iraq and appear aimed at shaking Iraqis' confidence in the Shiite-led government.

Violence in Iraq has fallen since the height of sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007, but insurgents still frequently launch lethal attacks against security forces and civilians. It was the third time this month that attacks have claimed more than 20 lives in a single day.

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069-c-20-(Adam Schreck, AP correspondent)-"that Muslim sect"-AP correspondent Adam Schreck reports the explosions have the markings of al-Qaida's Iraq franchise that has increased the violence in recent months against Shiites and the government. (17 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *069 (02/17/13)>> 00:20 "that Muslim sect"

APPHOTO BKM103: Iraqis inspect the scene of a car bomb attack in the Ameen neighborhood of eastern Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. A series of car bombs exploded within minutes of each other as Iraqis were out shopping in and around Baghdad on Sunday, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed) (17 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO BKM103 (02/17/13)>>

APPHOTO BKM102: People inspect their destroyed cars at the scene of a car bomb attack in the Ameen neighborhood of eastern Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. A series of car bombs exploded within minutes of each other as Iraqis were out shopping in and around Baghdad on Sunday, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed) (17 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO BKM102 (02/17/13)>>

APPHOTO BKM101: Iraqis inspect the scene of a car bomb attack in the Ameen neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. A series of car bombs exploded within minutes of each other as Iraqis were out shopping in and around Baghdad on Sunday, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed) (17 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO BKM101 (02/17/13)>>

APPHOTO BKM106: Iraqis inspect the scene of a car bomb attack in the Ameen neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. A series of car bombs exploded within minutes of each other as Iraqis were out shopping in and around Baghdad on Sunday, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed) (17 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO BKM106 (02/17/13)>>

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