AFP/Baghdad blasts kill at least 34 in Shia districts

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SHAFAQNA – Car bomb blasts in two Shiite neighbourhoods of the Iraqi capital killed at least 34 people and wounded 54 on Saturday, police and medical sources said.

A suicide car bomb exploded at a police checkpoint guarding Kadhimiyah, a neighbourhood in northwestern Baghdad that is home to one of the holiest shrines in Shiite Islam.

A police colonel said at least 10 people were killed and 31 wounded, a toll confirmed by a medical source.

Farther west, in the district of Shoala, a car bomb went off in a busy commercial street, killing at least 24 people and wounding another 23, a medical source said.

There were conflicting reports as to whether the carnage in Shoala might have been caused by two consecutive explosions, but a source at the interior ministry gave a similar toll.

On Thursday, at least 12 people died in another car bomb attack on the sprawling Shiite neighbourhood of Sadr City.

The United Nations said more than 1,110 people were killed in acts of violence across Iraq in September. According to an AFP count, more than 250 have already been killed this month.

While the bloodshed has been mainly on the frontlines where federal, Kurdish and allied forces battle the Islamic State jihadist group, blasts and executions in Baghdad continue to take a heavy toll.

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