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Attacks across Iraq kill 16 as violence rages on

  • Article by: SINAN SALAHEDDIN
  • Associated Press
  • October 23, 2013 - 1:35 PM

BAGHDAD — Bombings at marketplaces and busy streets around Iraq's capital and other attacks killed 16 people Wednesday, officials said, the latest in a wave of violence roiling the country.

Violence in Iraq has intensified since April to levels not seen since 2008. At least 452 people have died in attacks across the country so far this month, according to an Associated Press count.

The deadliest attack Wednesday targeted a market in the town of Madain, 20 kilometers (14 miles) south of Baghdad. There, authorities said a bomb killed five shoppers and wounded 13.

A bomb exploded during the morning rush hour on a commercial street in Baghdad's western Amariyah neighborhood, killing four people and wounding 10, police said. A bomb at an outdoor market in the Abu Ghraib area, just west of the Iraqi capital, killed two shoppers and wounded eight, officials said.

Gunmen also shot dead two police officers as they were heading to work in Ramadi, 175 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad, authorities said. The city is the provincial capital of the western Anbar province and a former al-Qaida stronghold.

In the northern city of Mosul, a bomb exploded at a small restaurant, killing two people and wounding six, officials said.

Also Wednesday, authorities raised the death toll from attacks that took place the previous night targeting police in Anbar to 19, including three civilians. Earlier reports said eight police officers had died in the Anbar attacks.

In the first attack Tuesday night, a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a checkpoint at the entrance of the town of Rutba, killing five police officers. Another suicide bomber drove his car into a nearby bypass where a group of police officers stood guard, killing four officers and three civilian truck drivers. Clashes elsewhere in the volatile province killed seven more officers.

Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures for the attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks Tuesday and Wednesday, though suicide and car bombings are a favorite tactic of al-Qaida's local branch. It frequently targets civilians in markets, cafes and commercial street, as well as members of the security forces.

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