BAGHDAD - At least 20 people were killed in Iraq when three mortar rounds struck a crowded market in a mainly Shi'ite Muslim town of Mussayab on Thursday evening, police and medics said.

It was not clear who fired the mortars or from where, but the Shi'ite community is a target of Sunni Islamist insurgents who have been regaining ground in Iraq over the past year and in recent weeks overran several towns.

The attack on Mussayab, 60 km (40 miles) south of the capital Baghdad, also wounded 35 people. Police said the death toll was high because the market is usually crowded with shoppers in the evening when the attack took place.

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