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Bombings Around Baghdad Kill 8

Workers sweep away debris after a bombing in Baghdad, Iraq, 23 Jan 2011.
Workers sweep away debris after a bombing in Baghdad, Iraq, 23 Jan 2011.

Iraqi officials say a series of bombings in and near Baghdad has killed eight people and wounded about 30 others.

Officials say the blasts occurred during a three-hour period Sunday and began at the start of rush hour traffic.

Authorities said two separate car bomb attacks in the capital targeted police patrols, while another struck a bus of Iranian pilgrims. Several people were killed in the blasts, including a policeman.

Also, just north of the capital in the town of Taji, a car bomb killed two people.

While violence in Iraq has dropped dramatically since a few years ago, attacks still remain common across the country. Last week there was a surge in bomb attacks against Iraqi security forces, and Shi'ite Muslims gathering for a religious commemoration.

Attacks also have increased in the month since Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki formed a new government. He has yet to appoint ministers responsible for Iraq's defense, interior and national security sectors.

Meanwhile, a British security guard charged with killing two of his colleagues in Iraq says he acted in self-defense.

Danny Fitzsimons told a criminal court in Baghdad Sunday he shot two ArmorGroup co-workers during a quarrel in Baghdad's Green Zone, but also said he was only defending himself.

He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, but the Iraqi court has not decided whether this will be considered in his defense.

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