Iraq

Bombs Kill at Least 22 in Baghdad

Struck Shi'ite neighborhoods

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At least 22 people were killed in a series of blasts in Shi'ite neighborhoods of Baghdad on Thursday, police sources said, as Iraq's precarious sectarian balance comes under growing strain.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni Muslim insurgents have been redoubling their efforts to undermine the Shi'ite-led government and spark deeper intercommunal fighting since the start of the year.

Two car bombs, one parked near a crowded restaurant and the other close to a football stadium, exploded around sunset and killed at least 18 people in Baghdad's southern Shula district.