BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Bombs in the Iraqi capital Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk killed 35 people on Thursday, mostly in Shi’ite Muslim and Kurdish neighbourhoods, police and medical sources said.
The five separate attacks come as Shi’ite militia and Kurdish peshmerga fighters battle Sunni militants from the Islamic State who have taken over large parts of north and west Iraq.
Islamic State frequently sends bombers into Shi’ite districts of the Iraqi capital, but attacks in the Kurdish controlled Kirkuk to the north have been less frequent.
The sources said a bomb in Kirkuk killed 15 people and wounded 20 others in the Shurja area of the city. The blast was believed to have been either a car bomb or a suicide bomber.
In Baghdad, the deadliest explosions were two car bombs in the densely populated eastern district of Sadr City, which killed 15 people and wounded 51 others, police and medics said.
A roadside bomb near a small restaurant in the northern Shi’ite neighbourhood of Shaab killed three people and wounded nine, police said.
Earlier a bomb killed two people near the Green Zone district which houses most government buildings, security and medical sources said.
The bomb struck 200 metres from the edge of the zone, they said. In response, security forces closed two nearby bridges that span the Tigris River, linking eastern and western Baghdad.
Bombings are frequent in the Iraqi capital but mostly strike neighbourhoods some distance from the central district, which houses the Iraqi parliament and the U.S. Embassy and is a base for many Iraqi politicians.
Reporting by Kareem Raheem and Rahim Salman; Writing by Dominic Evans, Editing by Angus MacSwan