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Fresh wave of violence in Iraq, scores killed

The Sydney News.Net Wednesday 15th January, 2014

BAGHDAD, Iraq - At least 60 people were killed and scores injured in a fresh wave of bombings and violence in Iraq on Wednesday, police and medical officials said.


Seven car bombs exploded across Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 41 people and wounding scores more in fresh round of violence.

The deadliest of the bombing occurred when a suspect suicide attacker blew himself up at a funeral procession where people were mourning the death of a Sunni Muslim pro-government militiaman, police said.

The bombing killed 18 people and wounded 16 in Shatub, a village south of Baquba.

Iraq is in the grip of a sectarian violence two years after US troops left the country. Violence in the insurgency-hit country has climbed back to its highest levels since the Sunni-Shia bloodshed of 2006-2007, when tens of thousands of people were killed, according to the Reuters.

The United Nations says 7,818 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces died in 2013. December alone saw at least 759 killed.

Wednesday's violence comes amid an ongoing stand-off between security forces and Sunni militants aligned to Al Qaeda who seized control of the city of Falluja, west of Baghdad, more than two weeks ago.

Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, a Shia, has vowed to eradicate the Al Qaeda affiliated Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). However he has ruled out an assault on Falluja because residents must force the group to leave.

"The battle will be long and will continue," Maliki said on state television on Wednesday, calling for world support. "If we keep silent it means the creation of evil states that would wreak havoc with security in the region and the world."

A car bomb in Dujail, a Shia town 50 km north of Baghdad, killed three people and wounded seven.

A suicide bomber in an explosives-laden fuel tanker blew it up under the bridge near the town of Saqlawiya, about 10 km north of Falluja, causing the bridge to collapse and destroying one of two army tanks parked on top, police said. Gunmen then attacked and destroyed the second tank.

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