At least 43 people were killed in bomb attacks across Iraq today, with nine explosions in busy markets and commercial areas of the capital Baghdad, police and medics said.
The deadliest attack was in the mainly Shi'ite Muslim Shaab district of northern Baghdad, where twin car bombs killed eight people.
A sustained campaign of attacks since the start of the year has increased fears of wider conflict in a country where ethnic Kurds, Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims have yet to find a stable power-sharing compromise.
Insurgents have been recruiting from Iraq's Sunni minority, which resents Shi'ite domination since the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Sectarian tensions have been inflamed by the civil war in neighbouring Syria, which is fast spreading into a region-wide proxy war, drawing in Shi'ite and Sunni fighters from Iraq and elsewhere to fight on opposite sides of the conflict.