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At least 20 people were killed Monday when three car bombs exploded in predominately Shiite cities in southern Iraq, medical personnel and eyewitnesses said dpa reported.

One car bomb went off in a market, while the other exploded near a gathering for workers in the city of Amara, 400 kilometres south-east of Baghdad. The blast killed 16 people and injured 25.

In the city of Diwaniyah, 150 kilometres south of Baghdad, a car bomb went off near a restaurant, killing four people and wounding 11 others.


At least 29 people were killed Monday in a series of bombings across Iraq, where tensions between Sunni protesters and the Shiite-dominated government are on the rise, dpa reported.

Most of the attacks occurred in Shiite communities.

One car bomb exploded at a market, while the other went off near a crowd of workers in Amara, 400 kilometres south-east of Baghdad. Medics and witnesses said 16 people were killed and 25 injured.

In Diwaniyah, 150 kilometres south of Baghdad, four people were killed and 33 injured when a booby trapped car exploded. The blast damaged buildings.


Nine people were killed on Tuesday in a series of gun and bomb attacks in central regions of Iraq, security officials said, days before the country is set to hold elections, dpa reported.

Three civilians were killed and four injured when a car bomb exploded near al-Kut, 180 kilometres north of the capital Baghdad.

In Tuz Khurmato, 170 kilometres north of Baghdad, a police major died when he set off a booby trap bomb on his car.

In Dulueiya, 80 kilometres north of the capital, one soldier was killed and two injured in an attack by gunmen.


A series of attacks across Iraq Monday left at least 29 people dead and more than 200 injured, police and medics said, DPA reported.
The number of dead from the blasts that hit Baghdad, Tuz Khurmatu and Kirkuk in the north, and Nasariyah in the south rose after several of the seriously injured victims died, medical sources said.

Violence has been on the rise in the country in the run-up to provincial elections to be held Saturday in 12 of the country's 18 provinces.


Nine policemen were among the 12 people killed in two attacks on security personnel in central Iraq on Monday, police said.

A suicide bomber killed nine people, six of them police officers, when he blew up a fuel tanker in Tikrit, some 170 kilometres north of the capital Baghdad, dpa reported.

Police said 18 people were injured.

In southern Baghdad, three policemen were killed when gunmen opened fire on a police patrol.


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday to stop Iranian flights over Iraq from carrying arms to Syria during a visit to the Iraqi capital, Reuters reported.

Kerry also urged Iraq's Sunni Muslim, Shi'ite and ethnic Kurdish factions to commit to the political process as the country's precarious intercommunal balance comes under growing strain from the conflict in neighboring Syria.


Gas produced in the Kurdish autonomy of Iraq can be transported to Europe via the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the director of external relations of TAP Michael Hoffman said at a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Energy of Turkey, Ankara agency announced on Tuesday.

According to Hoffman, TAP gas transportation from Russia or Iran is not being considered within the project.

"We are considering gas transportation from the Kurdish Autonomy of Iraq to Europe as plan B. When coming to gas from Russia or Iran, these options are not being considered," he said.


A series of suicide and car bombings in Iraq killed at least 61 people on Tuesday, the eve of the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion, dpa reports.

Most of the casualties were in Shiite-dominated neighbourhoods of Baghdad, where 45 people died, police said.

More than 100 people were injured.

Security forces arrested 26 people in the capital who were carrying explosives and rockets to be used in further attacks.

A vegetable market in al-Sadr, in northern Baghdad, and a bakery in Zaafaraniya in the south, were among the targeted areas.


A group linked to al-Qaeda claimed responsibility Wednesday for a series of bombings that left 61 dead in Iraq and warned of further attacks, dpa reported.

The Islamic State of Iraq said that Tuesday's attacks were aimed at avenging what the group called the government's execution of Sunni Muslim detainees.

"What happened on Tuesday was just the beginning and the first stage God willing," the group added in a statement posted on Jihadist websites.

The bombings, targeting mainly Shiite areas, were carried out on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.


At least 12 people were killed on Sunday in attacks in southern and northern Iraq, dpa reported citing security officialsas saying.

Ten people were killed when two car bombs exploded in the mostly Shiite city of Basra, some 550 kilometres south of the capital Baghdad, said the officials.

The first explosion occurred near a marketplace in the northern side of Basra. The second happened inside a garage in the centre of the city.

Elsewhere, two people died in an attack on their house by gunmen in Mosul, about 400 kilometres north of Baghdad, said police.