A car bomb on Thursday ripped through a funeral tent in a mainly Shia area of Baghdad, the deadliest in a series of attacks that killed at least 40 people.

The blasts were the latest in more than a week of bombings that have killed more than 200 people, raising concerns about an uptick in violence as the U.S. military prepares to withdraw from the country.

The violence has mainly targeted the majority Shia community and Iraqi security forces, posing a major challenge to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his fragile coalition government that was seated last month.

Suspicion

The car that exploded about 2 pm on Thursday had been parked with the vehicles of other mourners, several metres away from the tent, so it wouldn't raise suspicion, said police.

Several other cars were set afire and the force of the blast damaged nearby houses.

At least 37 people, including four children and three women, were killed and 78 wounded, according to police and hospital officials.

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