Iraq baghdad
Representational Image: People gather at the scene of bomb attack in Baghdad January 30, 2015.Reuters

At least 23 people were killed in two separate bombings in Baghdad on Saturday, hours away from the lifting of the nighttime curfew imposed in the city for more than a decade. 

A suicide bomber struck at a restaurant in east Baghdad on Saturday killing 12 pople and injuring 30 others, according to AFP. 

The first blast occurred in the Shia neighbourhood of New Baghdad while the second one occurred in the Sharqa market district.

On Thursday, the Iraqi government had abolished the nighttime curfew imposed on Baghdad by US troops in 2003, in a bid to normalise life, announcing that the curfew will come to an end at midnight on Saturday. 

However, the city has been caught in a spate of violence over the last month, with the United Nations claiming that at least 256 civilians were killed last month in the Baghdad governorate, according to The New York Times.