Scores killed in Iraq blasts

A string of bombings in Iraq have killed at least 48 people and left another 155 people wounded.

A restaurant said to be full of labourers was the target of two attacks in the central city of Hilla on Thursday.

A roadside bomb followed by a car bomb killed 35 and injured 80 people, according to security and hospital sources. 

The eatery in the Shia-majority city was said to be full of labourers and municipal workers having breakfast at the time of the explosions.

In the shrine city of Karbala, a car bomb killed four and left another 16 people wounded. The bomber parked the vehicle near the entrance of the Imam Abbas shrine.

Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf, reporting from Baghdad, said the holy site made for a "very daring" attack in Karbala.

Millions of pilgrims flock to Karbala each year for Ashoura commemorations marking Hussein's death in 680 AD, which peaked on November 25 this year.

Pilgrims also walk from across Iraq to Karbala during the 40-day mourning period that follows Ashoura.

Thursday's attacks marked the second wave of bombings against Shias this week after three car bombs exploded near their places of worship in Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 12 people and wounding 50.

Elsewhere in the country, two bombs targeted security forces in Fallujah and Mosul.

East of Mosul city, a car bomb killed two, including a police officer, near a police checkpoint. Another two civilians were wounded in the blast.

In central Fallujah, a suicide bomber walked up to a bank and killed three army soldiers when he detonated his explosive vest. Another eight were wounded in the line of soldiers queued up to receive their monthly salaries at the time of the attack.

An off-duty police officer was killed in Diyala province when a bomb attached to his car exploded Thursday morning.

Having dismantled a car bomb in the region, police have sealed off the green zone and areas leading to it, said Al Jazeera's Arraf.

The "wide variety of targets", said our correspondent, were meant to be a sign "to show that Iraqi security cannot keep their people safe".

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