BEIRUT

Middle East

Baghdad car bombs kills at least 17

Radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (R) attends the funeral of fighters loyal to his Brigades of Peace in Najaf, south of Baghdad, September 3, 2014. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

BAGHDAD: Two car bombs exploded in Shiite-majority areas of the Iraqi capital Thursday, killing at least 17 people, security and medical officials said.

The first blast struck an area of shops, restaurants and cafes in the Kadhimiyah area of northern Baghdad, killing at least 11 people and wounding 32.

Another car bomb exploded later near alcohol shops in the central district of Karrada, killing at least six people and wounding 17, officials said.

At the site of that blast, security forces gathered around the mangled remains of a car that apparently carried the explosives, which sat in a narrow median.

Two people still at the scene of the blast, which smashed storefronts and left broken glass hundreds of metres (yards) away, were lightly wounded.

Sirens screamed as security forces trucks and ambulances arrived and departed.

Jihadists frequently target areas populated by Shiites, whose faith they consider heresy, and also often strike crowded places in a bid to cause maximum casualties.

Iraq is struggling to regain ground from a sweeping jihadist-led insurgency that has overrun chunks of five provinces since it was launched in June.

But significant portions of the country, especially Baghdad, have suffered through years of bombings.

 

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