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Bombings, shooting kill 20 in Iraq

30 January 2014, 09:33

Baghdad - Car bombs and a shooting, mainly in Shi'ite areas, killed 20 people in the Iraqi capital on Wednesday, officials said.

Police officials said the deadliest attack took place when two car bombs went off almost simultaneously in separate commercial streets in the Shi'ite neighbourhood of Shula in northern Baghdad, killing nine people and wounding 19 others.

A car bomb blast near a small restaurant in a Shi'ite neighbourhood in eastern Baghdad killed four people and wounded 13 others, said police.

Earlier, a car bomb exploded near the al-Farasha pastry shop in the Shi'ite southeastern New Baghdad district, killing five people and wounding 13 others, including women and children.

Also in southeastern Baghdad, gunmen in a speeding car opened fire randomly on pedestrians in the Christian-Shi'ite neighbourhood of Garage al-Amana, killing two people and wounding five others, said police.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attacks.

But coordinated bombings against Shi'ites and the security forces are frequently the work of al-Qaeda's affiliate in Iraq, which has been emboldened by the successes of its fellow militants in the civil war next door in Syria and by widespread Sunni anger at the Shi'ite-led government.

Medics in a nearby hospital confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief journalists.

Violence has escalated in Iraq over the past year, particularly since late last month after authorities dismantled a Sunni anti-government protest camp and arrested a Sunni lawmaker.

- AP


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