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Baghdad Bombings Kill 21; Gunfights Erupt in 2 Iraqi Cities


Bomb blasts in Baghdad have killed at least 21 people, as violence in Iraq showed no sign of abating.

Police say two car bombs went off Wednesday evening in Baghdad, killing at least 13 people and wounding more than 40 others.

An earlier blast in Baghdad killed eight people and wounded at least 28 others near a bus station where day laborers gather seeking work.

Meanwhile, health ministry officials say nearly 3,500 Iraqis died last month in violence nationwide, the highest toll for civilians since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

In other violence Wednesday, armed gangs attacked the governor's office in Basra, and police say they arrested five of the gunmen. North of Baghdad, in Mosul, insurgents fought Iraqi police. Police said they killed five insurgents and arrested six.

A reporter for VOA says the Mujahadeen Shura Council, an umbrella group including al-Qaida in Iraq, claimed responsibility for the Mosul attack.

In the Shi'ite holy city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, authorities imposed strict security measures following Tuesday's fighting between Iraqi troops and supporters of an anti-American Shi'ite cleric.

The fighting began after police raided a mosque and the cleric's offices and detained many of his followers.

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

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