At least 14 people were killed and 26 others injured in twin roadside bomb explosions in the Iraqi city of Baquba, Iraqi officials said.

The blasts on Wednesday targeted a cafe in the centre of Baquba, 65km northeast of Baghdad, and an ice-cream shop on a commercial street.

Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for similar attacks in the past week in which scores of civilians were killed during celebrations marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The operations we have started to go after the terrorist gangs and those who stand behind them will continue unabated

Nouri al-Maliki,
Prime Minister of Iraq

Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki promised to hunt down those behind the wave of Ramadan attacks.

“The operations we have started to go after the terrorist gangs and those who stand behind them will continue unabated,” Maliki said in a short television speech.

Al-Qaeda's merged Iraq and Syria branch has said recent attacks were in response to a security crackdown launched by Baghdad.

Iraq launched its “Avenge the Martyrs” campaign after mass jailbreaks last month, also claimed by al-Qaeda, which has been boosted by the conflict in neighbouring Syria and discontent among Iraq's minority Sunni population.

Maliki said security forces had arrested more than 800 suspects and seized large amounts of explosives and weapons since the security campaign started last month.

It has been one of the deadliest Ramadan holidays in years in Iraq, where Sunni rebels are waging a revolt against Maliki's Shia-led government.

Source: Agencies