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Deadly blasts hit market near Baghdad

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At least 6 people were killed and more than 50 wounded when two roadside bombs exploded in quick succession at a popular market on the northern outskirts of Baghdad, police and hospital sources said.

The attack on Friday is the latest in a wave of bombings this month that have targeted mainly Shia Muslim pilgrims and religious sites and have revived concerns of widespread sectarian violence.

The first explosion struck a main market area of Husseiniya, a predominately Shia area on the edge of Baghdad, where people were shopping for groceries and other goods, sources said.

The second blast occurred shortly after in the same area, as security forces and people gathered to tend to the injured, a police source told Reuters news agency.

"Fruit and vegetables have been scattered everywhere. Some children were wounded," said Mudhaffar Khalaf, a policeman at the scene. "We have started to evacuate the injured people."

Tensions have been high in Iraq since the departure of US troops in December especially due to feuding between Iraq's main Shia, Sunni and Kurdish political factions over power.

While overall violence in Iraq has dropped since the peak of sectarian fighting in 2006-07, recent bombings against Shia Muslims have reignited fears the country risks sliding back into major bloodshed.

On Monday, a suicide bomber killed at least 15 people at a Shia funeral in the northern Iraqi city of Baquba.


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