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Baghdad Violence Kills Sunni Cleric, 2 Others


Violence in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Wednesday left a Sunni cleric and a senior police official dead.

In the first attack, police say gunmen opened fire on the cleric outside of the al-Rahman mosque in northern Baghdad.

In western Baghdad, Brigadier General Arkan Mohammed Ali was killed when a bomb planted on his car exploded. Three others nearby, including a police officer, were also wounded.

In a central Baghdad commercial district Wednesday, a bomb exploded in a sports shop, killing one person and wounding at least six others.

Attacks in Baghdad have risen sharply since the March 7 parliamentary elections. Iraqi officials fear political uncertainty is encouraging a resurgence of extremist violence, particularly by militants with al-Qaida in Iraq.

The election results gave former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's secular coalition two more seats than the Shi'ite-led coalition of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

It could take months for rival coalitions to form a new government.

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

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