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Iraq Transition

Weekend toll in Iraq: 83 bodies

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi police found 83 bodies in Iraq over the weekend, an official with Baghdad emergency police said.

The official said 51 bullet-riddled bodies were found in Baghdad, with some of the bodies showing signs of torture. Iraqi police could not immediately identify the bodies.

The official said Iraqi police found 18 of the bodies on Saturday and another 33 on Sunday.

In addition, 26 bodies were found in Balad on Saturday and six bodies were found in Baquba and Mosul, officials said.

Not included in that toll were at least another eight people who were killed and 40 wounded in six car-bomb blasts on Sunday -- four of them within a 30-minute period -- in the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, police reported.

The first car bomb exploded at the entrance to a popular market around 10:30 a.m. (0730 GMT). The second detonated 10 minutes later in an area of the city that has several checkpoints and where Iraqi security forces patrol.

The third blast, around 10:50 a.m., was located outside a building that houses police who provide security for government offices. The building is located near an Islamic school for girls and some of the students were among the casualties, police said.

The fourth car bomb exploded at about 11 a.m. outside a teachers institute, police said.

The fifth and sixth explosions occurred at about 2:25 p.m. nearly simultaneously, one at the site of the second blast near the checkpoints and another that appeared to target a car dealership.

The explosions all appeared to emanate from parked, unoccupied cars, officials said, and are the latest in a string of violence in Kirkuk over the past two months.

On September 17, a series of bombings killed at least 23 people in the city.

Earlier this month, officials imposed a curfew and ban on vehicles and pedestrians from moving about the city for two days, during which security forces conducted house-to-house searches.

Kirkuk -- home to Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens -- has been a cauldron of ethnic tension.

From CNN's Jomana Karadsheh



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