At least 26 people have been killed in a series of car bomb explosions targeting Shia Muslims in markets in Iraq this morning, police and hospital sources said.

In the Shia district of Kadhimiya in the capital Baghdad, 13 people were killed when a car bomb blew up inside a bird market, followed by a second blast just 100m away around one minute later.

A further 13 people were killed in two car bomb explosions at a vegetable market in the Shia city of Hilla, 100km south of Baghdad.

The attacks were the latest in a spate of violence coinciding with growing tension between Iraq's Sunni, Shia and ethnic Kurdish factions.