At least 49 people were killed as bombs rocked predominantly Shi'ite Muslim districts of the Iraqi capital and the southern city of Hilla on Tuesday, police and hospital sources said.
The deadliest violence hit Hilla a small city around 60 miles south of Baghdad, where seven car bombs killed 35 people inside the city itself and in the nearby towns of Haswa, Mahaweel and Mussayab.
"Hilla hospital has received 35 bodies so far from seven car bomb blasts," said one health official. A further 90 people were wounded in the blasts. Fourteen more people were killed in explosions in mainly Shi'ite districts of Baghdad.
In one of those, a bomb inside a parked vehicle exploded near a bus station in the Bayaa district, killing five people, the sources said. There were also blasts in the Amil, Ilam and Shurta districts.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for any of the attacks, but Shi'ites are often targeted by Sunni Islamist insurgents who have been regaining ground in Iraq over the past year and overran several towns in recent weeks.
Last year was Iraq's bloodiest since sectarian bloodshed began to abate in 2008.