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Iraq Violence Kills 10 Security Force Members

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A series of attacks across Iraq has left at least 10 security force members dead, in what appears to be part of a trend of escalating violence in the country.

The deadliest incident on Saturday took place in Baiji, a town north of Baghdad. Security officials say suicide bombers detonated explosives at a police headquarters, killing at least six police officers.

Investigators say a guard at the police station shot and killed one of the suspected bombers but several others managed to get inside the building and detonate their explosives.

In the northern Nineveh province, unidentified gunmen killed two prison guards. Also, two soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing near Mosul.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks.

However, violence between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims has risen sharply in recent months, raising fears of all-out sectarian warfare.

In another development, voters in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region are casting ballots in parliamentary elections on Saturday.



The dominant parties -- President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and regional President Massoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party -- are being challenged by smaller parties seeking more influence in parliament.

One challenger is the opposition Gorran party which had a strong showing in the 2009 election.

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