Violence has fallen in Iraq since US-backed tribal sheikhs helped wrest control from al Qaeda militants and Washington sent extra troops, but attacks are still common in a nation trying to rebuild after decades of conflict, sanctions and strife.
Two strong blasts shook buildings and smoke billowed from the area in central Baghdad near the Tigris river.
The first blast targeted the justice ministry and the second, minutes later, was aimed at the provincial government building, police said.
Another police source said that the bombs were not, as first thought, suicide bombings.
A Reuters witness saw at least 13 bodies, some on the ground and others in burnt-out cars at the site of one of the explosions.
Water flooded the street as firefighters hosed down the cars and removed bodies, a Reuters witness said.
In August, blasts near government ministries killed almost 100 people and wounded hundreds in Iraq's bloodiest day this year. That prompted a rare admission of lapses by Iraqi security forces.
The attacks may undermine confidence in Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki before the parliamentary election next year, and could also deter oil companies and other foreign investors.
Source: The Australian