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Baghdad struck by deadly bombings

At least 25 killed in bomb blasts in Iraqi capital, including a shopping mall, amid government assault in Anbar.

Last updated: 19 Jan 2014 10:14
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Unrest in Anbar and elsewhere in Iraq has already killed more than 600 people this month

Six bombings in Baghdad, including an attack on a glitzy new shopping mall in the west of the Iraqi capital, have killed 25 people and wounded 71 others, officials have said.

The latest attacks come hours after at least six people were killed in a suicide bombing and shelling in country's Anbar province as security forces pressed an assault against fighters for territory the government lost weeks ago.

The blasts struck in the neighbourhoods of Mansur, Nahda, Taubchi, Sarafiyah and Amriyah - all across the capital.

The car bomb in Taubchi detonated near a juvenile detention center, sparking an attempted prison break. An interior ministry official said 23 detainees escaped in the chaotic aftermath of the attack, but Iraqiya state TV said security forces prevented the attempted jailbreak.

The spate of coordinated bombings come just days after a similar series of attacks across the capital killed 37 people, the latest in a protracted surge in nationwide bloodshed.

Unrest in Anbar and elsewhere in Iraq has already killed more than 600 people this month, fuelling fears the country is slipping back into all-out sectarian war with little appetite for political compromise ahead of an April general election.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon and other diplomats have urged Baghdad to pursue political reconciliation, but Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has ruled out dialogue with rebel fighters, and the authorities have instead trumpeted police and army operations.

On Friday, thousands of elite security forces pressed an assault on Albubali, a rural area where officials say a large number of anti-government fighters are holed up.

The area of farmland and villages lies between Ramadi and Fallujah, the two cities in the western desert province at the centre of the crisis.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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