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Bombings targeting Kurds kill 17 in Iraq: Officials

AFP , Sunday 8 Jun 2014
Iraq
Civilians inspect the aftermath of a car bomb explosion at an industrial area in Baghdad's eastern Ur neighborhood, Iraq, Sunday, June 8, 2014 (Photo: AP)
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A car bomb followed by a suicide bombing hit offices of a Kurdish political party and security forces in Iraq on Sunday, killing 17 people, police and a doctor said.

The blasts in the town of Jalawla, north of Baghdad, also wounded 50 people, the sources said.

Police Captain Farhad Rifat said the car bomb went off close to an office of President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party and a Kurdish asayesh security forces building.

As emergency workers came to the scene, the suicide bomber entered the PUK office and detonated explosives, he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, though suicide bombings are a tactic mainly employed by Sunni Muslim militants in Iraq.

Violence is running at its highest levels since 2006-2007, when tens of thousands were killed in sectarian conflict between Iraq's Shiamajority and Sunni Arab minority.

More than 900 people were killed last month, according to figures separately compiled by the United Nations and the government.

So far this year, more than 4,500 people have been killed, according to AFP figures.

Officials blame external factors for the rising bloodshed, particularly the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

But analysts say widespread Sunni Arab anger with the Shia-led government has also been a major factor.

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