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Rocket, Bomb Attacks in Baghdad Kill 57


Authorities in Iraq are still counting the cost of a wave of rocket and bomb attacks that killed at least 57 people in a Shi'ite neighborhood of Baghdad.

Suspected Sunni insurgents fired several rockets into the Zafraniyah district in southern Baghdad late Sunday, demolishing a multi-story building and seriously damaging several others. Casualties mounted as a car bomb went off near rescuers and onlookers, and another explosion was detonated by a suicidal attacker riding a motorcycle.

In addition to the heavy death toll, more than 140 people were wounded.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blames the attacks on terrorists who have a deep hatred of Iraq and want to incite sectarian fighting.

Iraqi officials say two more car bombs exploded in eastern Baghdad Monday, killing two people and wounding at least three others.

In a separate incident, four Australian soldiers were wounded today in a rocket attack on Baghdad's fortified international zone (known as the Green Zone).

The attack serious injured a female soldier; three male soldiers were treated and then released from a hospital.

Sunday's attacks were the deadliest in Baghdad since American and Iraqi reinforcements began deploying in the capital last month, to counter the recent wave of violence.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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