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Suicide Bombings Kill 21 in Central Baghdad

Men walk past the site of a suicide bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Sept. 17, 2015.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a series of suicide bombings in the Iraqi capital that killed at least 21 people and wounded more than 50 others.

The attacks on Thursday struck the Bab al-Sharji area and al-Wathba square, two predominantly Shi'ite neighborhoods in central Baghdad. They resembled the frequent bombings there by Sunni militants during the past decade.

Civilians and police were among the victims in the blasts.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility in an online statement.

Iraq is experiencing its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops. IS militants control large swaths of the country's north and west after capturing Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, and most of the western province of Anbar last year.

Iraqi troops have been backed by airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition during the past year, but have struggled to make progress as the Islamic State maintains control of territory, including several major cities.