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Twin Iraq blasts kill eight in Baghdad Shi'ite district

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Two bombs killed at least eight people and wounded 38 more in a busy market in Baghdad's Kadhimiya District on Saturday, police and hospital sources said, breaking weeks of relative calm.

The blasts hit the Iraqi capital ahead of next week's Islamic Eid al-Adha festival, a period when security officials believe al Qaeda's Iraqi affiliates and other Sunni Islamist insurgents may attempt a major attack.

Police said the bombs blew up inside a busy public market and most of the victims were women and children.

"We heard a loud explosion so we ran to see what happened ... there was big mess near the explosion scene, clothes, toes, food and bodies were everywhere," said a policeman at the scene.

"Many wounded people were shouting and looking for their relatives."

The monthly death toll from militant attacks across Iraq doubled in September to 365, the highest figure for more than two years, with most of them killed in bomb attacks, according to government figures released this month.

The insurgents have launched one major assault a month since U.S. troops withdrew in December.

Iraq was caught up in sectarian slaughter soon after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Though now far off the peak of 2006-2007, violence has remained frequent since the last American troops left as political tensions among Iraq's main Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions simmer.

(Reporting by Kareem Raheem; Writing by Suadad al-Salhy; Editing by Patrick Markey and Sophie Hares)

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