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Bomb attacks in Baghdad target Shias, kills at least 18

Two roadside bombs and one suicide bomber in different Shia neighbourhoods in Baghdad killed at least 18 people
The aftermath of a car bomb in Baghdad earlier this year (AFP)

At least 18 people were killed and 41 injured in Baghdad on Friday in two separate bomb attacks, officials and medical sources said. 

In the first attack, a suicide bombing in the predominantly Shia area of Amil, south of Baghdad, targeted the Al-Ashara al-Mubashareen mosque where a funeral was taking place.

A police source told Anadolu Agency that “two suicide bombers attempted to enter al-Husseiniya Mosque during [Friday] prayer, but their explosive vests went off before they reached their target".

Sixteen people were killed in the attack.

Two officials said a funeral for a member of the volunteer paramilitary forces known as the Popular Mobilisation units was to be held after the prayers.

Soon after the first attack, two roadside bombs exploded near another Shia place of worship in the Sadr City area of north Baghdad, killing at least two people and wounding at least nine.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but suicide bombings are a tactic used exclusively by Sunni militants in Iraq, including the Islamic State militant group, who consider Shias to be heretics.

The Popular Mobilisation units - which are dominated by Iranian-backed Shia militias - are some of the most effective forces in the battle against IS, which overran large parts of the country last year.