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Bombs Kill 35 in Baghdad Christian Area

(writethru with new info throughout))

Christmas Day bombings in the Iraqi capital killed at least 35 people in a Baghdad district where many Christians live.

Bomb blasts ripped through an outdoor market and a car bomb exploded near a church after Christmas services.

The attacks were in Dora, a southern district of the Iraqi capital.

There was no claim of responsibility, but al-Qaida-linked Sunni militants often attack Iraq's minority Christian community and majority Shi'ites.

Scores of Shi'ite pilgrims were killed by car bombings and shootings in Iraq in the run-up to their holy day of Arbaeen earlier this week.

Iraqi military forces are conducting operations in western Anbar province, trying to flush out the al-Qaida linked groups blamed for this year's surge in violence, the worst since 2008.

The United Nations says more than 8,000 people have been killed in Iraq this year More than twice as many civilians have been killed in 2013 than in 2012.

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