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Bombers strike in Iraq; more than 20 dead

By Mohammed Tawfeeq and Joe Sterling, CNN
updated 2:48 PM EDT, Sun July 14, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bombings occurred in seven cities
  • The violence comes during the holy month of Ramadan
  • Sunnis have been protesting al-Maliki's government

(CNN) -- Another day of bombings shook the volatile nation of Iraq on Sunday, killing at least 22 people and wounding dozens more, police and health officials said.

A string of cities were targeted in the country, which has been wracked by political and sectarian violence for months.

The explosions occurred in Basra, al-Askandirya, Karbala, Nasiriya, and Kut -- south of the capital of Baghdad in the predominantly Shiite heartland

Bombers hit Mosul and Baquba, largely Sunni towns north of Baghdad. The deadliest attack was in Baquba, where a car bomb killed six people in a funeral procession.

It was the fourth straight day of carnage in a country still scarred by the full-blown Sunni-Shiite civil warfare of last decade and it comes during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

Iraq's Sunni Muslims -- who see themselves as politically marginalized after the overthrow last decade of Saddam Hussein -- have been protesting against the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

On Saturday in Baghdad, at least 14 people were killed and 49 others were wounded in bombings outside a restaurant, Sunni mosque, and shopping area.

On Friday night, at least 33 people were killed and 26 others hurt when a bomber with an explosive vest blew himself up inside a coffee shop where patrons were playing a popular Ramadan game in ethnically diverse Kirkuk.

A wave of bombings and shootings on Thursday, targeting primarily security forces, left at least 24 people dead and dozens more wounded.

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