Blasts strike Baghdad as Iraq marks end of one of its bloodiest Ramadans

BAGHDAD (AFP) - A series of car bombs struck Baghdad on Saturday as Iraqis celebrated the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of one of the country's bloodiest Ramadans in years, officials said.

The blasts hit seven different areas of Baghdad in the evening, in the latest violence that has seen more than 800 people killed in attacks during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ended this week.

Militants have struck targets ranging from cafes where Iraqis gather after breaking their daily Ramadan fast, to mosques where extended evening prayers are held during the month.

Violence has markedly increased this year, especially since an April 23 security operation at a Sunni Arab anti-government protest site that sparked clashes in which dozens died.

Protests erupted in Sunni-majority areas in late 2012, amid widespread discontent among Sunnis, who accuse the Shi'ite-led government of marginalising and targeting them.

Analysts say Sunni anger is the main cause of the spike in violence this year.

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