Christians targeted in Baghdad

Three bombs have gone off across the Iraqi capital killing at least 34 and wounding several others.

FILE:Iraqi security secure the area of a car bomb on March 16 in the northern city of Kirkuk, which injured around18 people. Picture: AFP.

BAGHDAD - At least 34 people have been killed in bomb attacks in Christian areas of Baghdad, some by a car bomb that exploded near a church after a Christmas service.

The car bomb killed at least 24 people, most of them Christian, when worshippers were leaving a church in the Doura district of southern Baghdad.

Two bombs also went off in a crowded market in a mostly Christian area in Doura, killing another 10 people.

Violence in Iraq has risen to its worst levels in more than five years as hard-line Sunni militants linked to al-Qaeda step up attacks on the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and anyone seen as supporting it.

The minority Christian community has been a target of attacks by al-Qaeda militants in the past, including a 2010 attack on a church that killed dozens of people.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.