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Bombings kill at least 60 in Iraq

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  • NEW: 12 wounded in double car bombing in Mosul
  • Suicide bomber kills 15 in restaurant in Anbar province
  • Car bomb kills 40 near government offices in Baquba
  • Roadside bomb, car bomb kill five in Baghdad
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A wave of bombings blamed on al Qaeda in Iraq shook Baghdad and three provincial capitals Tuesday, killing at least 60 people and wounding more than 100 across Iraq.

Most of the dead were in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, where a car bomb killed 40 people outside a crowded restaurant, an Interior Ministry official said. Another 75 people were wounded in the blast.

In a written statement, the U.S. military condemned the bombings and said they "have the appearance of having been carried out by al Qaeda in Iraq."

"The Iraqis killed and wounded in today's brutal attacks in Baquba, Ramadi and Baghdad were innocent victims of extremists who subscribe to a philosophy of hatred," the statement said.

The attacks occurred in cities where U.S. and Iraqi troops have been putting pressure on Sunni Arab militants, who have a history of carrying out car bombings and suicide attacks in the same regions. In an audio statement issued Tuesday, an al Qaeda front group called on Sunnis to stop cooperating with Iraq's Shiite-led government "and instead turn all of their guns toward the crusader enemy and all of those who support them."

The bombing in Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, struck near a courthouse and other government offices, a medical source and a resident said. Women and children are among the dead. Video Watch bloodied patients treated at a chaotic hospital »

The U.S. military said one Iraqi policeman was killed and another was wounded in the car bombing, which also destroyed three buses and damaged local shops.

"Although attacks such as today's event are tragic, it is not indicative of the overall security situation in Baquba," said Maj. Mike Garcia, spokesman for the coalition forces responsible for Diyala province.

"The overall violence in the city has decreased by 80 percent since June."

Iraqi and U.S. troops have been fighting militants in Diyala province, which stretches north and east of the capital and borders Iran.

In Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province west of Baghdad, a man walked into a restaurant and detonated his suicide vest, killing at least 15 people and wounding 13, according to an Interior Ministry official and Hamid al-Hais, the head of the Awakening Council in Anbar.

Anbar, once a battleground between al Qaeda in Iraq and U.S. and Iraqi security forces, has seen a drop in violence because many people in the region have joined the anti-insurgent "awakening" movement.

Abdul Salam al-Ani, head of the Anbar Provincial Council, said Iraqi security forces foiled a suicide attack on the same restaurant last month.

He reiterated that attacks have gone down recently, but have not stopped, and "there will always be attempts by terrorists who resort to these methods [attacking civilians] to disrupt the situation in Anbar."

A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed two street sweepers in central Baghdad's Watheq Square, the official said. The blast wounded two other street sweepers and two police officers, the official said.

Later, a parked car bomb killed at least three civilians and wounded eight police officers.

Another roadside bomb, which exploded in southwestern Baghdad's Bayaa neighborhood, wounded a woman and child, the official said.

This comes a day after bombing attacks in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh.

In Mosul, at least 12 people were wounded in a double car bombing Tuesday. The first bomb, targeting coalition forces, resulted in no casualties. But when police responded to the incident, a second bomb detonated, wounding four police officers and eight civilians.

The attack took place in central Mosul, a university area. A resident told CNN that if the bombings had happened earlier in the day, when students were around, the casualty toll would have been "catastrophic."

Mosul is the capital of Nineveh province and is the largest city in northern Iraq. This latest incident comes after a string of car bombs shook the city Monday, killing 12 Kurdish troops and a civilian and wounding several people, U.S. and Iraqi authorities reported.

The city is considered the last urban stronghold of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Also on Monday, three people died and nearly three dozen were wounded in the nearby city of Tal Afar when a suicide attacker blew himself up at an Iraqi soldier's funeral, the U.S. military reported.


Other bombings with high casualty counts this year in Iraq include the pet market bombings in Baghdad that killed 99 on February 1, bombings in a Baghdad commercial district that killed 69 on March 6, and the suicide bombing targeting Shiite worshippers in Karbala that killed 50 on March 17.

The bombings erupted as Iraqi and U.S. troops have been fighting Shiite militants in Baghdad and intra-Shiite hostilities have raged. In the latest such fighting in Sadr City overnight, six people -- described as enemy fighters by the U.S. military -- were killed in clashes. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh contributed to this report.

All About Iraq WarBaghdadDiyala ProvinceAl Qaeda in IraqAnbar Province

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