BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At least 12 people were killed when three bombs went off in mainly Shi'ite neighborhoods in central Baghdad on Thursday, security and medical sources said.

Two suicide bomb attacks in the central commercial district of Bab al-Shargi killed at least eight people and wounded 18 others. A third blast in the nearby Bab al-Muadham district killed four people and wounded nine, the sources said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but they took place in Shi'ite areas often targeted by Sunni insurgents from the Islamic State group.

The government is trying to dislodge the insurgents from large swathes of the country's north and west, but advances have been slow, particularly in the western province of Anbar where Baghdad has been focusing its attention for months.