At least 43 people were killed today when bombs tore through two separate pet markets in Baghdad.
The deadliest blast occurred about 10.20am local time when a bomb hidden in a bird box exploded at the central al-Ghazl market.
Six children and many teenagers were among the victims.
About 20 minutes later, another bomb targeted a bird market in the predominantly Shiite south-eastern neighbourhood of New Baghdad.
Police said four people were killed, including a woman, and nine were wounded, including children, in that attack.
The violence, which took place shortly before the weekly Islamic call to prayer sounded across the city, was the latest in a series of attacks chipping away at recent security gains by US troops and a Sunni revolt against al-Qaida in Iraq.
The al-Ghazl market has been struck several times since the war started but it recently re-emerged as a popular venue as security has improved.
A bomb hidden in a box of small birds exploded at the market in late November, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens.
The US military blamed the November attack on Iranian-backed Shiite militants, saying they had hoped al-Qaida in Iraq would be held responsible for the attack so Iraqis would turn to them for protection.