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Suicide Bombings Kill 19 in Iraq

  • VOA News

UNAMI civilian deaths in Iraq, as of September, 2013

UNAMI civilian deaths in Iraq, as of September, 2013

Iraqi officials say separate suicide bomb attacks overnight near the capital and in the northern part of the country have killed at least 19 people.

Authorities said on Wednesday the deadliest attack involved two suicide bombers blowing themselves up outside the northern Baghdad home of Saeed Jassim, leader of the "Sahwa" Sunni militia, in northern Baghdad as he was hosting dinner, killing at least 11 people and wounded 19 others.

Police in the Sunni neighborhood said Jassim was not hurt, but the commander of the military battalion deployed in the region and his deputy were among those killed.

The other attack happened in Mosul, where a suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into a police checkpoint in the west of the city late on Tuesday. The attack killed at least eight people, including three policemen, police and medical sources said.

Mosul, capital of the predominantly Sunni province of Nineveh, is a stronghold for Islamist insurgents who have been reinvigorated by growing resentment of the government that came to power after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.

The Sunni Islamist insurgency, including the Iraqi affiliate of al Qaida, has intensified attacks in Iraq since the beginning of the year as sectarian tensions across the Middle East have been exacerbated by the civil war in Syria.

More than 7,000 people have been killed in violence so far this year, according to monitoring group Iraq Body Count.

Some information in this report was contributed by Reuters.
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