BAGHDAD - Car bombs in two towns south of Baghdad and in the Iraqi city of Najaf killed a total of 20 people on Sunday and wounded 80, police and hospital sources said, in one of the most violent days of the past two weeks.

Three car bombs killed 11 people and wounded 38 in Mahmudiya, a town 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, according to police.The first detonated in a car in a parking lot, the second in another car as police arrived at the scene and a third at the town's police station, the police sources said.

Last month at least 237 people were killed and 603 wounded in attacks, making it one of the bloodiest months since US troops withdrew at the end of last year.

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