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Deadly Bombings Rock Northern Iraq

Image showing the moment that a bomb detonates on a street in Kirkuk, Iraq, February 9, 2011

Iraqi officials say a series of explosions killed at least nine people in northern Iraq Wednesday, including seven who died in car bombings in Kirkuk.

Officials say three car bombs exploded in quick succession in the ethnically divided city of Kirkuk. At least two police officers are among those killed while at least 80 people were wounded.

Investigators say one blast took place outside of a Kurdish security forces building while the other two occurred near police patrols. Nearby shops, homes and cars were damaged.

Kirkuk is an oil-rich region that has long experienced tensions between its Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen communities. Arab residents oppose demands by the Kurds to annex Kirkuk to northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

Meanwhile, security officials say a roadside bomb exploded in the town of Tal Afar, killing two Iraqi soldiers. Two others were injured in the attack in the predominately Shi'ite Turkmen town.

Elsewhere, two bombs went off in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, Tuesday, wounding at least six people.

Violence in Iraq has declined sharply from the height of sectarian conflict several years ago, but militants still carry out bombings and shootings almost daily.

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

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