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Marketplace Bomb Blasts Kill At Least 22 in Iraq


Iraqi police say two separate bomb attacks in crowded markets near Baghdad have killed at least 22 people and injured many others.

Fifteen people were killed Monday at a marketplace in Hilla, to the south of the city, and later at least seven others died when a bomb exploded in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad.

Authorities said at least 11 were killed in other bombings and shootings across Iraq, including an American soldier killed in an attack Monday.

In Moscow, Russia's foreign ministry confirmed the deaths of four embassy workers taken hostage in the Iraqi capital earlier this month.

The United States expressed its condolences to the families of the victims and to the Russian people.

An al-Qaida-linked insurgent group, the Mujahedeen Shura Council said it killed the four men to avenge alleged abuses by Russia's government.

An Internet video was posted Sunday showing masked men shooting one of the Russian diplomats and beheading another.

The four were abducted earlier this month in an attack that killed a fifth Russian embassy worker.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.