Seven bombs went off in Shiite neighborhoods and one in a Sunni-populated area -- with one bombing striking Shiite Muslims during observance of Muharram, when they are required to prepare food for the poor, The New York Times said.
The first attack occurred near a bakery where people were buying bread for breakfast when a car bomb exploded, killing three civilians and wounding 13, officials said. That was followed by car bombings that ripped through public markets in areas including Sadr City, a Shiite stronghold in the Iraqi capital.
Heavy rains and flooding that forced officials to declare a public holiday hampered ambulances trying to reach the blast sites to transport the injured to hospitals, officials said.
"I just wanted to get breakfast for my kids," Muhsin Muntadhar, who sustained a leg wound from an explosion at a bakery, told The Times. "I never did something bad in my life. What did we do to deserve this? I hope one day I wake up from this nightmare."
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the violence.