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Iraqi security officials say three explosions tore through a market in southern Baghdad, killing at least 21 people and wounding more than 40.

Officials say the bombs went off in quick succession at the Shurt al-Raba market when it was crowded with shoppers.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy reported that an American civilian contractor was killed in an attack in Baghdad.

Violence in Iraq has fallen dramatically since its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks have surged in recent months.

compiled from agency reports