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Car bombs, clashes kill 21 civilians in Iraq

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published January 12, 2014 at 9:26 a.m. Updated January 12, 2014 at 11:36 a.m.

BAGHDAD — A series of car bomb attacks and clashes between security forces and militants around and north of Baghdad killed at least 21 civilians, officials said Sunday, amid an ongoing standoff between Iraqi forces and al-Qaida-linked militants west of the Iraqi capital.

The deadliest blast occurred at a bustling bus station in central Baghdad when an explosives-laden car exploded outside, killing at least nine people and wounding 16, a police officer said. Thousands of people use the bus station every day or pass through the area. Last Thursday, a suicide bomber blew himself up among a group of security force recruits nearby, killing nearly two dozen.

Another parked car bomb targeted a gathering of buses and taxis in Baghdad's northern Hurriyah neighborhood, killing four civilians and wounding 12, the same police officer said.

Shortly after sunset, fighting erupted in Baghdad's western suburbs of Abu Ghraib as gunmen attacked a military convoy, authorities said. Army artillery shells later landed on the Sunni village of al-Mahsna in Abu Ghraib, killing five civilians and wounding 13, police said.

Later, a suicide car bomb exploded in the northern town of Tuz Khormato, followed minutes later by bomb hidden in a cart nearby, Mayor Shalal Abdoul said. He said the blasts killed three people and wounded 27.

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