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Iraq Violence Leaves 40 Dead



Iraqi officials say a suicide car bomber detonated explosives at a funeral in Baghdad's predominately Shi'ite area, one of a string of deadly attacks on Saturday that left at least 40 people dead.

Police say the Sadr City blast took place near a tent filled with mourners. At least 30 people were killed and 50 wounded.

Earlier Saturday, a series of attacks across the country left at least 10 security force members dead.

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

There was no immediate claim 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.

On Friday, an explosion inside a Sunni mosque killed 15 people in Samarra, north of Baghdad.

In another development, voters in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region cast 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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