Three car bombs, mortars kill 23 in Shi'ite Baghdad districts

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Three car bombs were detonated in adjacent Shi'ite Baghdad neighbourhoods on Thursday followed by a dozen mortar rounds, killing at least 23 people and wounding more than 50, security and medical sources said. Two of the bombs hit Kadhimiya and one hit the adjacent district of Tobcha, the security sources said. A mortar landed near the site of a major Shi'ite shrine in Kadhimiya and gunfire was heard in the district, they said. Bombs hit the capital on a near-daily basis but coordinated attacks of this scale have been rare in the last several weeks. Mortar rounds have a short range compared to rockets, indicating the assailants fired from near the districts. Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan said on state television that "the security forces are securing the area." He said two "terrorists" had been arrested in Kadhimiya. Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that seized large parts of northern Iraq last month, has claimed several suicide bombings in the capital. Security sources say their fighters have tried to use farmland northwest of Baghdad to approach Shi'ite districts. (Reporting by Oliver Holmes; Editing by Dominic Evans)