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Baghdad car bombs 'kill at least 17'

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Iraqis inspect the site of a car bomb explosion in Baghdad's impoverished district of Sadr City, on July 29, 2013. Two car bombs have targeted mourners in a Shiite area of Baghdad, killing at least 17 people and pushing the September death toll past 500. (AFP/File)

Two car bombs targeted mourners in a Shiite area of Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 17 people and pushing the September death toll past 500, officials said.

The bombs exploded near a funeral tent for a Shiite man in the Sadr City area of north Baghdad at about 5:30 pm (1430 GMT), also wounding at least 34 people, the sources said.

Sunni militants including those linked to Al-Qaeda frequently target members of Iraq's Shiite majority, whom they consider apostates.

Iraq has seen a number of sectarian attacks this year, raising fears of a return to the all-out sectarian conflict that peaked in 2006-2007 and killed thousands of people.

The Sadr City blasts came a day after two bombs exploded in a Sunni mosque north of Baghdad, killing 18 people.

Violence in Iraq has surged this year to levels not seen since 2008.

With the latest attacks, more than 500 people have been killed this month and upwards of 4,300 since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.