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Scores Dead in Iraq Bombings



At least 61 people have been killed in a wave of car bombings in Iraq, in what appear to be coordinated strikes on people celebrating the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Iraqi officials say most of Saturday's bombings took place in daylight, with attackers targeting busy markets, cafes and places where families had gathered to mark the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Police say at least 150 people were wounded.

The U.S. State Department condemned, "in the strongest possible terms, the cowardly attacks today in Baghdad." Spokeswoman Jan Psaki, in a statement late Saturday, said the attacks were aimed at families and called the perpetrators "enemies of Islam." Psaki also reiterated the $10 million reward offered for information that helps authorities kill or capture
Iraq's purported al-Qaida leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who U.S. authorities say is hiding in nearby Syria.

Violence has surged across much of Iraq since April, when the Shi'ite-led Baghdad government launched a deadly crackdown on a Sunni protest camp.



Last week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden telephoned Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to voice U.S. condolences to victims of the largely sectarian violence. The call referenced more than 1,000 killings in the month of July -- the deadliest month since 2008.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry has warned the country is facing open warfare, as Sunni Islamists have pushed this year to regain momentum in their fight against the Shi'ite-led government.

In one attack Saturday, police say seven people were killed when a car bomb exploded at an outdoor market in a Baghdad suburb.

A similar blast killed at least eight people in the town of Tuz Khormato, about 175 kilometers to the north of the capital.

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