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At least 44 people were killed and dozens wounded in a series of bomb blasts in Iraq. The bombs reportedly targeted Shiite pilgrims in and around Baghdad, as well as in the city of Hilla.

The interior ministry confirmed the attack, as the first bomb in the Hilla region killed at least six people and wounded a dozens others, while seven others were killed in a second blast in the city, according to the BBC. Baghdad was rocked by five blasts and two shootings occurred.

Reports suggest people had gathered in the capital for a Shiite religious festival. Pilgrims have been subjected to a recent spate of attacks, as they prepare to commemorate the death of Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, one of 12 principal Shiite saints, who is buried in the northern neighbourhood of Kazimiyah.

Although there is considerably less violence in Iraq since 2006, bombings have continued to occur and 132 Iraqis were killed last month alone, according to Al Arabiya News.