Baghdad: A series of more than 20 attacks across Iraq killed 52 people and wounded over 250 on Sunday, security and medical officials said, with targets including security forces and markets.

The latest violence brings the number of people killed in attacks so far this month to 82, according to security and medical sources.

In the deadliest attack on Sunday, two car bombs exploded in a market near the shrine of Imam Ali al-Sharqi in south Iraq, a security official said.

Dr Ali al-Alaa, a Maysan province health department official, said the blasts killed 14 people and wounded 60.

Before midnight on Saturday gunmen opened fire on an Iraqi army checkpoint near Balad north of Baghdad and shortly later a roadside bomb exploded when additional soldiers arrived.

Eleven soldiers, including two officers, were killed and eight others wounded, an army colonel and a medical source at Balad hospital said.

A police captain was also shot dead on Saturday night in the town of Garma, security and medical officials said.

Early on Sunday morning a car bomb exploded in a car park at the rear gate of the state-owned North Oil Company, about 15 kilometres from the northern city of Kirkuk, killing seven people and wounding 17 others, police and Dr Othman Abdul Rahman said.

The victims were seeking to join a force that guards oil facilities, a police officer said.

The North Oil Company is responsible for oil exports from northern Iraq.

In Kirkuk itself, two bombings killed three people and wounded 70 others, police and Dr Mohammed Abdullah said.

The blasts left body parts strewn in the streets, destroyed cars, and damaged government buildings, as reported.

The streets were deserted after the attacks.

A car bomb seriously wounded six soldiers west of Kirkuk, according to army Captain Taha Khalaf, while another in Hawija, also west of the city, wounded two people, security and medical sources said.

Volatile, oil-rich Kirkuk province is part of a swathe of disputed territory in northern Iraq that the autonomous Kurdistan region wants to incorporate against Baghdad's wishes.

Three car bombs exploded in Taji, north of Baghdad, killing one person and wounding at least seven others, an interior ministry official said and a medical source said.

And five roadside bombs exploded in and around Baquba, killing a soldier and wounding 17 others, a police colonel and a doctor said.

In Nasiriyah, 305 kilometres south of Baghdad, a bomb exploded around 9:00 am on Sunday near the French honorary consulate, causing material damage and wounding an unspecified number of people, a French diplomat said.

Nasiriyah's website put the toll from the bombing at one dead and one wounded.

(Agencies)

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