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Coordinated Bombings Kill at Least 9 in Iraq

Black smoke from a car bomb attack is seen from the the Crossed Swords monument in Baghad, Iraq, March, 14, 2013.
A series of coordinated blasts rocked the heart of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killing at least 9 people and wounding dozens.

The explosions Thursday took place in the Allawi district, which houses several government ministries. It's near the heavily fortified Green Zone, where several Western embassies are located. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The bombings come a week before the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and a month before Iraq holds its first elections in three years.

Iraq has been plagued by infighting among sectarian factions. Many Sunnis accuse Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of discriminating against their community. Sunni militants have for months been carrying out a series of strikes on Shi'ite targets.