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Officials in Iraq say bombing in busy shopping street in capital, Baghdad, kills 3 people

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BAGHDAD — Officials in Iraq say a bomb planted on a street full of shoppers in the capital, Baghdad, has killed three people and wounded five.

Police officers say the explosion took place in the capital's predominantly Shiite neighborhood of al-Ameen on Friday morning.

PHOTO: Friends of Mustafa Mounir, 19, chant slogans against the al-Qaida breakaway group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), while carrying his flag-draped coffin during his funeral procession in Najaf, 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, April 18, 2014. Mustafa Mounir was killed in a car bomb attack in Baghdad on Thursday, his family said. (AP Photo/Jaber al-Helo)
Friends of Mustafa Mounir, 19, chant slogans against the al-Qaida breakaway group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), while carrying his flag-draped coffin during his funeral procession in Najaf, 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, April 18, 2014. Mustafa Mounir was killed in a car bomb attack in Baghdad on Thursday, his family said. (AP Photo/Jaber al-Helo)

Health officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for Friday's attack, but Sunni insurgent groups have stepped up attacks across the country since last year, in a bid to undermine the Shiite-led government.

The uptick in violence comes at a crucial time, as Iraqis prepare to hold parliamentary elections on April 30, the first such vote since U.S. forces left Iraq in 2011.

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