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April 18, 2013

At Least 22 Dead in Baghdad Bomb Blast

by VOA News

Police in the Iraqi capital say at least 22 people were killed late Thursday and dozens more wounded, when a suicide bomber detonated explosives inside a Baghdad cafe.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which struck a Sunni neighborhood two days before provincial elections. Saturday's vote will be the first in the country since U.S. troops withdrew in late 2011.

A wave of bombings this week has left at least 70 people dead, including a blast Tuesday in Azizyah, about 75 kilometers south of the capital, killing at least four people and wounding 15 others.

No one has claimed responsibility for those attacks, either. But al-Qaida's Iraq wing has stepped up suicide bombings in recent months, in what analysts say is a renewed attempt to provoke violence between Iraq's Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims.