U.S. and Iraqi military authorities have blamed al-Qaida for a series of bombings in Sunni Arab areas of Iraq Tuesday that killed more than 50 people and wounded 94 others.

In Baquba, an explosives-laden car exploded in front of a restaurant near government offices around lunchtime. Women and children were among the 40 people killed. Eighty other people were wounded.

At least 13 people died in a second attack west of Baghdad, in Ramadi, and 14 people were wounded. Police initially thought a parked car had exploded, but later determined it was a suicide bomb attack.

Elsewhere, in Mosul, twin car bombs exploded in quick succession, wounding at least 17 people.

Meanwhile, police say unidentified gunmen attacked two aides to Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Police say both representatives survived the separate attacks Tuesday in the southern cities of Basra and Kut.

Four days earlier, a top aide to radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was assassinated in Najaf.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.