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At least 19 killed after six explosions rip through busy Baghdad markets, streets

BAGHDAD -- Six bombs exploded in busy markets and streets across Baghdad on Wednesday, killing 19 people and wounding 66, police and medical sources said.

The explosions, which took place around the same time, were the latest in a series of blasts and assaults -- the worst wave of violence to hit Iraq in at least five years.

Iraq's Shiite-led government has blamed Sunni Muslim insurgents linked to al Qaeda for increased bomb attacks in Iraq, which have mainly targeted Shiite civilians.

In one of the worst attacks on Wednesday, a roadside bomb near a crowded market in the mainly Shiite neighborhood of Sadriya killed four and wounded 14.

Hundreds of Iraqis have been killed each month in similar attacks since the start of the year. The growing violence has raised fears of a return to the heights of bloodshed seen in 2006-7, when tens of thousands died.