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A blaze engulfs a car at the scene of an explosion in the Shiite Muslim Al Amin district of Baghdad on December 8. AFP
A blaze engulfs a car at the scene of an explosion in the Shiite Muslim Al Amin district of Baghdad on December 8. AFP

Car bomb and roadside bombings kill 18 in Iraq

Series of attacks, including a car bomb outside a cafe, kills at least 18 people.

BAGHDAD // A series of attacks, including a car bomb outside a cafe, killed at least 18 people in Iraq on Monday.

Iraqi authorities have struggled to quell a surge of violence that has swept across the country following a security crackdown on a Sunni protest camp in April. Since then, the level of bloodshed in the country has soared to heights unseen since Iraq stood on the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

Monday’s explosion outside a cafe took place in the town of Buhriz, about 60 kilometres north of the capital, and killed 12 people and wounded 24.

Three more bombings around the country killed an additional six people.

A roadside bomb targeted an army patrol just south of the capital, killing one Iraqi soldier and wounded two others, while in Baghdad’s eastern Basmaya district a bomb at an outdoor market killed three more and wounded seven.

And in the south-western suburbs of Baghdad, a roadside bomb struck a car carrying anti-Al Qaeda Sunni fighters, killing two and wounding three.

The Sunni militia group, known as the Sahwa, joined forces with US troops at the height of the Iraq war to fight Al Qaeda. Since then, Sahwa members have been a frequent target for Sunni insurgents, who call the militiamen traitors.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures for all the attacks.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Monday’s attacks, but insurgent groups frequently target civilians in cafes and public areas, as well as members of the security forces, in an attempt to undermine confidence in the Shiite-led government and stir up Iraq’s already simmering sectarian tensions.

Monday’s attacks came a day after a series of bombings in and around Baghdad killed at least 39 people.

At least 147 people have died in attacks in Iraq this month.

* Associated Press

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