Iraqi officials say car bomb attacks near Shiite mosque, markets kills 20 people in Baghdad

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BAGHDAD — A series of car bombings targeting a Shiite mosque and markets in the Iraqi capital killed at least 20 people Friday, officials said, in the second straight day of attacks in Baghdad blamed on Islamic militants who have seized large parts of the country.

In the day's deadliest attack, a parked explosives-packed car detonated near the al-Mubarak mosque in central Baghdad's mostly Shiite district of Karradah, killing eight people and wounding 18 others, police said.

Cars later exploded in two outdoor markets, one in the Shiite suburb of Nahrawan and the other in the Shiite district of Bayaa. The attacks together killed nine people and wounded 23, according to police. Just south of Baghdad, yet another car bomb went off on a parking lot in Mahmoudiyah town, killing three and wounding 10, said police.

Medical officials confirmed the casualty tolls. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Friday's attacks came a day after a series of deadly attacks in mainly Shiite areas in and around Baghdad that left dozens killed.

The coordinated nature and style of the attacks strongly suggested they were the work of the extremist Islamic State group. It considers Shiites heretics and has captured large chunks of territory in western and northern Iraq, plunging the country into its worst crisis since U.S. troops left at the end of 2011. U.S. warplanes have been carrying out airstrikes against the group as Iraqi and Kurdish security forces work to retake territory it has seized.

U.S. Central Command said Thursday that the military has carried out 176 airstrikes in Iraq since Aug. 8.

France said it also has joined American forces in military action in Iraq by conducting its first airstrikes Friday against the militant Islamic State group, destroying a logistics depot that it controlled.

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Associated Press writer Murtada Faraj contributed to this report.

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