Wissm Al-Okili / Reuters
Residents inspect the mangled remains of a vehicle at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad's Sadr City on Monday.
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A deadly series of car bombs tore through busy areas of Baghdad early Monday, killing at least 42 people and wounding dozens more, police and medical sources said.
It was not immediately clear who carried out the attacks but the explosions rocked predominantly Shiite neighborhoods.
Hard-line Sunni militants who view Shiites as non-believers have been stepping up their insurgency and striking with a ferocity not seen in years.
The deadliest attack took place in Sadr City, where a car bomb blew up killing at least seven people including two soldiers.
More than two years of civil war in neighboring Syria have aggravated deep-rooted sectarian divisions and strained Iraq's fragile coalition of Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni factions.
Shiites, security personnel, government employees of both sects and governmental-backed Sunni "Sahwa" militia members are prime targets for al Qaeda and the Sunni insurgents.
On Sunday, a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque where a Shi'ite funeral was being held, killing at least 40 people in Mussayab, 40 miles south of Bagdad.
The United Nations mission in Iraq said about 800 Iraqis were killed in acts of violence in August.
First published September 30 2013, 2:14 AM