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Iraq bombings leave at least 42 dead

BAGHDAD — Evening bombings near markets in and around Baghdad and other blasts north of the capital killed at least 42 people and wounded dozens of others Monday.

The attacks were the latest in a wave of violence that has claimed more than 2,000 lives since the beginning of April. Militants, building on Sunni discontent with the Shi’ite-led government, appear to be growing stronger in central and northern Iraq.

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The violence came as tens of thousands of Shi’ites poured into Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, for an annual festival.

One of the deadliest attacks came at night, when two bombs blew up less than a minute apart in Baghdad’s mostly Shi’ite neighborhood of Husseiniyah, killing 10 and wounding 30 others. Police said the second bomb went off among people who had gathered to help victims of the first blast.

Earlier, police said, two car bombs exploded within minutes on a commercial street in Jihad in western Baghdad, killing nine people and wounding 21. Also, four people were killed and nine wounded when a car bomb exploded near a line of shops in the Shi’ite-dominated area of al-Shurta al-Rabeaa.

Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan Ibrahim said Al Qaeda is avoiding confrontation with security forces and choosing civilian targets. ‘‘By attacking soft targets like markets, Al Qaeda wants to send a message that they are still active and still capable of striking anywhere in Iraq,’’ he said.

Police said car bomb exploded near a supermarket in the Shi’ite Karrada neighborhood, killing five and wounding 16.

Just after sunset, a car bomb went off in the Shi’ite suburb of Nahrawan, killing four civilians and wounding 15 others.

Minutes later, a car bomb went off near a market in the Shi’ite-majority neighborhood of New Baghdad. Police said three people were killed and 10 wounded. Minutes later, a car bomb hit a bus stop in the same neighborhood, killing two and wounding eight. Also, two died in a car explosion in Garage al-Amana in southeast Baghdad.

A police officer in Ninevah said a suicide attacker rammed his explosives-laden car into an army patrol in Mosul, killing a soldier and a police officer. He said seven people were also wounded. Another officer said a second bomber blew set off his explosive-rigged belt at a university campus in Tikrit, killing a police officer.

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