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BAGHDAD -- Eight car bombs tore through shopping areas within minutes of each other Sunday in mainly Shia neighborhoods of the capital, killing at least 37 people and wounding more than 100.
The attacks come amid rising sectarian discord in Iraq and appear aimed at shaking Iraqis' confidence in the Shia-led government. The attacks at the start of the workweek targeted outdoor markets.
Violence in Iraq has fallen since the height of sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007, but insurgents still frequently launch lethal attacks against security forces and civilians. It was the third time this month that attacks have claimed more than 20 lives in a single day.
The attacks began with the detonation of a parked explosives-laden car in the sprawling Shia district of Sadr City in the morning. Later, two more parked cars exploded elsewhere in the neighborhood.
Nima Khadum, a government employee, said the blasts shattered the windows of his Sadr City house.
"The scene was a bloody one that brought to my mind the painful memories of the violent past," he said. "The government, with its failing security forces, bears full responsibility for the bloodshed today."
Simultaneous explosions also hit the southeastern Baghdad neighborhood of al-Amin, where the force of the blasts left behind little except the mangled chassis of two cars.
An open-air market in Husseiniya, northeast of the capital, and the Kamaliya area in the eastern suburbs were also hit. In the central commercial district of Karradah, a car bomb exploded near street vendors and a police car.
A day earlier, a suicide bomber assassinated Brig. Gen. Ali Aouni, head of the Defense Ministry's intelligence academy, and three bodyguards in the northern city of Tal Afar.