More than a dozen explosions struck the city in the span of an hour, mostly targeting Shiite neighborhoods. They followed a recent series of beheadings, some of which were claimed by al-Qaida's Iraq affiliate, and have raised new fears Iraq is returning to the sectarian violence of 2006 and 2007, The New York Times reported.
The deadliest explosion Wednesday was reported in Jisr Diyala in southeastern Baghdad, where a car bomb killed at least seven people when it was detonated, the BBC reported. Explosions also were reported in Kadhimiya and Sadr City.
Violence in Iraq has risen in recent months amid growing tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, the BBC said. Sunnis have said they were being marginalized by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-led government.
The BBC said the tensions also have been exacerbated by the civil war in Syria.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]