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15 people killed in blasts in north, central Iraq

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 31, 2012 at 7:25 a.m.

— Bombings across Iraq killed 15 people and wounded at least another 24 on Monday, officials said — the latest apparent attacks by militants aimed at undermining security and confidence in the government.

The deadliest blasts were in the town of Musayyib some 40 miles south of the capital, where militants planted bombs around two houses, one belonging to a police officer. Two women and two children aged 11 and 14 along with three men were killed, while three others were wounded in the predawn blasts, a police officer said.

In Hillah, a parked car bomb exploded in a busy street where local government offices are located, killing three people and wounding 21, another police officer said. He said some Shiite pilgrims were there making their way to the nearby city of Karbala to mark the 7th century death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein.

He didn’t say how many pilgrims were among the casualties. Hillah is about 60 miles south of Baghdad.

Two doctors confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

Also Monday, four policemen were killed in the northern city of Kirkuk while trying to defuse a bomb the center of the city, according to police Col. Taha Salaheddin. Kirkuk is 180 miles north of Baghdad.

And another a policeman was killed when a bomb hit a police convoy in the town of Tuz Khormato, 130 miles north of Baghdad, said the provincial spokesman of Salahuddin province, Mohammed al-Asi.

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