Iraqi officials say bombings targeting public places kill 19 people in and around Baghdad



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BAGHDAD — A series of attacks, mainly car bombs, in Iraq killed at least 19 people and wounded dozens on Saturday, authorities said.

Police officials said the deadliest attack occurred Saturday night when a car bomb exploded on a commercial street in Baghdad's western neighborhood of Amil, killing nine people and wounding 24 others. Several shops and cars were damaged.

Earlier, police said a car bomb blast near a bus stop killed three people and wounded 15 in southern Baghdad. A bomb explosion near an outdoor market killed three people in Mhamoudiya town, just south of Baghdad.

Another car bomb went off near a row of restaurants in the Shiite town of Balad Ruz, killing four and wounding 14. Balad Ruz is 70 kilometers (45 miles) northeast of Baghdad.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualties from all the attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to reporters.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attacks. Iraq sees near-daily bombings that are often claimed by the Islamic State group which seized a large swath of the country during an offensive last year. The Iraqi army, backed by Shiite and Sunni militia fighters, has been gradually retaking territory.

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