Baghdad: At least 26 people died in a series of car bomb explosions targeting Shi'ite Muslims in markets in Iraq on Friday, police and hospital sources said.
In the Shi'ite district of Kadhimiya in the capital Baghdad, 13 people were killed when a car bomb blew up inside a bird market, followed by a second blast just 100 metres away around one minute later.
A further 13 people were killed in two car bomb explosions at a vegetable market in the Shi'ite city of Hilla, 100 km south of Baghdad.
The attacks were the latest in a spate of violence coinciding with growing tensions between Iraq's Sunni, Shi'ite and ethnic Kurdish factions.
Violence has fallen from the height of inter-communal strife that killed tens of thousands in 2006-2007, but insurgents have continued to carry out at least one high-casualty attack a month since the US withdrawal in December 2011.