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Police: Bomb blasts kill 10 in Iraq

From Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
updated 4:45 PM EDT, Mon June 25, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • One attack took place in Hilla; the other in Baquba
  • More than 30 people are wounded
  • June is the deadliest month in Iraq since U.S. troops left last year

Baghdad (CNN) -- Ten people were killed in Iraq on Monday and more than 30 were wounded in separate bombings north and south of Baghdad, police officials said.

The first incident took place in Baquba, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) north of the capital. A roadside bomb exploded near an outdoor market, killing four people and wounding eight others, police in that city said.

The second attack took place late Monday in Hilla -- a predominately Shiite city located some 62 miles (100 kilometers) south of Baghdad. A bomb hidden inside a bus carrying a local soccer team exploded, killing six people and wounding 25, police said. Most of the victims were players.

The violence helps make June the deadliest month in Iraq since U.S. troops withdrew from that country in December 2011.

Much of the violence has targeted Shiite pilgrims.

Shiites form a majority in Iraq but for years they were dominated by minority Sunnis empowered by Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein.

The U.S. invasion of 2003 ousted Hussein and elevated Shiites to positions of power but the war also fanned longtime tensions between Sunnis and Shiites. Many feared hostilities would explode into protracted civil war, though the violence had ebbed by the time the last U.S. soldiers exited Iraq last year.

However, militant Sunnis have not stopped attacking Shiite pilgrims, and the scale of attacks in has June sparked fears of renewed violence on levels of the past.

Two car bombs targeted Shiite pilgrims this month in Baghdad, killing at least 32 people and injuring 68 others, police said.

The bombs followed a wave of attacks earlier in June that targeted pilgrims headed to Baghdad and killed at least 93 people. Another 100 were injured in what amounted to the deadliest day of the year in Iraq.

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