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Bombs Targeting Shi'ites Kill 18 in Iraq

Iraqi officials say bombs targeting security forces and Shi'ite pilgrims have killed at least 18 people.

The deadliest attack Wednesday happened near the northern city of Tikrit where a suicide bomber blew up a vehicle at a police checkpoint. The blast killed at least 10 people, including two policemen.

In Baqouba, north of the capital, Baghdad, three coordinated blasts struck a group of Shi'ites observing the annual mourning period known as Ashura, killing at least eight people and wounding 10 others.

The ritual commemorates the seventh-century killing of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, during a battle with rival Muslims.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Sunni Muslim extremists often target Shi'ites participating in religious events.

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