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Deadly bomb blasts rock Baghdad

At least 14 people killed and 30 others injured as series of attacks hit Iraq's capital and northern region.

Last Modified: 16 May 2013 16:27
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Tensions are rising between government and the Sunni minority who say they are being targeted [Reuters]

A spate of bomb blasts in Iraq have killed at least 14 people and wounded more than 30 others, officials said.

In the deadliest attack on Thursday, a car bomb in the Sadr City area of Baghdad killed six people and wounded 17, while another in Kamaliyah in the capital's east killed three and wounded nine, security and medical officials said.

In another incident, gunmen shot dead the brother of a Sunni MP in the Bayaa area of south Baghdad, they said.

In Iraq's north, a suicide bomber driving an explosives-rigged vehicle killed two soldiers and wounded three in Mosul, while a car bomb wounded two police officers.

The attacks came as Maliki blamed sectarianism for the surge in violence in Iraq.

"The bloodshed ... is a result of sectarian hatred," Maliki said in televised remarks. "These crimes are a natural result of the sectarian mindset."

Attacks on Wednesday, including a string of bombings that hit seven different areas of the capital, many of them Shia-majority areas, killed 34 people.

Blasts also hit Kirkuk and Mosul in northern Iraq and Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad. 

Tensions are festering between the government of Maliki, and members of the country's Sunni minority who accuse authorities of targeting their community, including through wrongful detentions and accusations of involvement in terrorism.

Protests broke out in Sunni areas of Iraq almost five months ago. 

While the government has made some concessions, such as freeing prisoners and raising the salaries of Sunni anti-al Qaeda fighters, underlying issues have not been addressed.

Violence in Iraq has fallen from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks are still common, killing more than 200 people in each of the first four months of this year.

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