A wave of car bombs and shootings across Iraq killed at least 40 people today, police sources said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, which appeared coordinated.

The deadliest attacks were in the city of Hilla, where two parked car bombs exploded simultaneously near a busy market and a third blew up near vehicle repair workshops, killing nine people in total, police said.

In Baghdad's Shia eastern district, a parked car bomb exploded in a commercial street killing at least five people and wounding 17, police said.

Another explosion took place in the oil-exporting southern city of Basra, where a car bomb blew up near another vehicle-repair workshop killing five people.

A car bomb in the city of Kerbala killed two others, police said.

In the capital, three security personnel were killed when a car bomb exploded near the convoy of the head of Baghdad provincial council, and two more people were killed when a roadside bomb blew up in a western outskirt.

A further two car bombs exploded inside a market killing two people and wounding another 16 in the town of Dibis, 250km north of Baghdad, police said.

In a separate incident, gunmen riding a car shot dead two Shia farmers who had recently returned to their homes in a town east of Baquba, 65km northeast of Baghdad.

In the same area, militants engaged in clashes with policemen at a checkpoint, killing two of them.

On the southern outskirts of Baghdad, police said they found the bodies of four Sunnis who were kidnapped from their homes last night by unidentified gunmen.

The corpses had gunshot wounds and were handcuffed.