24 Killed In Serial Bombings In Baghdad

At least 24 people were killed and dozens wounded in a series of bomb attacks targeting mostly Shia areas of the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Wednesday.

The seemingly coordinated bombings, including six car bomb explosions, hit Shia Muslim neighborhoods of Hurriyah, Sadriya, Shaab, Tobchi, Karrada and Amil, reports quoting security officials and medicos said. The attacks began at 7:30 a.m. local time.

A bomb hidden in a parked car exploded in the Sunni-majority neighborhood of Adhamiyah in north Baghdad. Media were barred from taking photos or video-graphing the scenes at the terror-stricken sites.

Attacks targeting security forces and places frequented by local people such as crowded markets have become the hallmark of attacks by al-Qaeda in Iraq cadres and Sunni militants.

Iraq has been witnessing frequent bombings and gun attacks for the past several months. Sectarian violence is at its highest since 2008 in the war-ravaged country, where the U.N. says more than 5,500 people have been killed since April.

Major imbalances exist between Kurds, majority Shia and minority Sunni Muslims in a coalition government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The Shia leader has turned to Washington to help restore peace and order in the Middle East nation.

Pro-Sunni militants take advantage of the Sunnis' feeling that they are being marginalized in power-sharing, and seek to thwart the Shia-led government's efforts to stabilize the country ahead of landmark elections, due in April next year.

Iraqis complain of not getting adequate basic services such as electricity and clean water in a country where corruption is widespread, and the government and parliament are almost paralyzed.

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