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Bomb attacks in Baghdad and southern Iraq city kill 49

Published on Feb 19, 2014 12:03 AM

BAGHDAD/HILLA (REUTERS) - Bombs exploded in predominantly Shi'ite Muslim districts of the Iraqi capital and in the southern city of Hilla on Tuesday, killing at least 49 people, police and hospital sources said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for any of the attacks, but Shi'ites are a target for Sunni Islamist insurgents who have been regaining ground in Iraq over the past year and overran several towns in recent weeks.

Hilla police chief, Major General Abbas Abid, blamed groups linked to al-Qaeda.

"Al-Qaeda terrorist groups stand behind today's attacks in Hilla to confuse the security forces and cause high casualties among civilians," he said. "They are criminals and they never get enough of innocent blood".

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