At least 38 people have been killed in bomb blasts across the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Sunni Islamist militants have been blamed for the attacks as they pursue a campaign to provoke inter-communal conflict.

Eight of the ten blasts in Baghdad were in mainly Shia districts, but there was also an explosion in a mixed area and another in the predominantly Sunni Muslim neighbourhood of Doura.

In the deadliest attack, a parked car blew up in a commercial street in Husseiniya, killing five people.

Separately, four members of a government-backed Sunni militia were killed in a roadside bombing in northern Baghdad earlier yesterday.

Six people, including a police officer, died in fighting between militants and special forces in Hilla, 100km south of the capital.

A surge of violence has killed more than 6,000 people across Iraq this year, reversing a decline in sectarian bloodshed that reached a climax in 2006-07.