At least 42 people died Sunday and about 100 were wounded in a series of attacks carried out in Baghdad and in both southern and northern Iraq, police told Efe.

The bloodiest attack was staged in the city of Hila, capital of Babel province south of Baghdad, where 18 people died and 34 were wounded when three car bombs exploded near a market in a mechanical workshop district.

In the industrial portion of the sacred Shi'ite city of Karbala, 110 kilometers (68 miles) south of the capital a car-bomb explosion killed four people and wounded 17.

Three people died and two others were wounded when another car bomb blew up in the Khamsa Mil area south of the city of Basra, 560 kilometers (347 miles) south of Baghdad.

Along a highway in the northern part of Salaheddin province, north of Baghdad, several armed men forced three people traveling in an automobile to get out of the vehicle and then gunned them down before fleeing.

A bomb exploded near a home in the town of Bahraz in eastern Diyala province killing three people, including a professor.

Two car bombs blew up one after the other near the markets in the town of Al Dabsh, 25 kilometers (16 miles) northeast of Kirkuk killing two civilians and wounding another 16 as well as causing substantial material damage to nearby businesses and vehicles.

In addition, two people died and 10 others were wounded when two car bombs exploded near a restaurant in the town of Al Hafriya, in Waset province south of Baghdad.

Another car-bomb blast killed two people and wounded seven in the Al Mashtal zone southeast of Baghdad.

Two peasants died when they were attacked by armed men in the town of Abu Saida, in Diyala province.

In the Wasiriya neighborhood in northern Baghdad, a car bomb exploded when the convoy of the capital's mayor, Riyad al Adad, was passing by, and although he was uninjured one person was killed and four were wounded in the blast.

In the areas of Abu Ghraib, 25 kilometers (16 miles) west of Baghdad, and Abu Deshir, south of the capital, one person died and two others were killed when two bombs exploded.

In another attack, a security guard working at a petroleum installation in southern Mosul, 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) north of Baghdad, was shot to death by armed men in front of his house.

The violence has increased in recent months in Iraq, where on Saturday 25 people died in a suicide attack staged during a wake being held in a town near Mosul. EFE