At least 59 people have been killed in attacks on Shia Muslims in Iraq, including a suicide truck bomb targeting members of the country's Shabak minority.

Ten bombs exploded in primarily Shia districts of the Iraqi capital killing 44 people in all.

One blast occurred near an amusement park north of Baghdad's Sadr City neighbourhood, killing six children.

A suicide bomber driving a truck packed with explosives blew himself up in a village in the northern province of Nineveh, killing at least 15 Shabaks.

Many of the minority had fled to the area from the provincial capital Mosul after threats by militant groups. 

There was no admission of responsibility for any of the attacks. 

However, Shias are viewed as apostates by hardline Sunni Islamists who have been regrouping and gathering pace in an insurgency this year.

A raid by government security forces on a Sunni protest camp in April touched off a violent backlash by militants that is still going on.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in violence across the country this year, according to monitoring group Iraq Body Count.

Militants linked to al-Qaeda have in the past attacked Shabaks, who are mainly Shia.

Sectarian tension in Iraq and the wider Middle East has been brought to a boil by Syria's civil war, which has drawn Sunnis and Shias from the region and beyond into battle.

Al-Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate was forced underground in 2007, but has since regrouped and earlier this year merged with its Syrian counterpart to form the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

That group has claimed responsibility for attacks on both sides of the border.

It has also been nourished by growing resentment among Iraq's Sunni minority, which accuses the Shia-led Baghdad government of marginalising their sect since coming to power following the US -led invasion in 2003.

The UN condemned the attack and called for greater co-operation within the country.