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Car bomb near cafe kills 11 in Iraq

Iraqi men inspect the site of a blast that took place the previous day outside a cafe in Baghdad's Bayaa neighborhood on November 21, 2013
Iraqi men inspect the site of a blast that took place the previous day outside a cafe in Baghdad's Bayaa neighborhood on November 21, 2013

A car bomb near a cafe in Iraq killed 11 people Monday, the latest in a series of attacks on crowded public places this year, police and a doctor said.

The blast in Buhruz, a Sunni-majority town in the religiously and ethnically mixed Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, wounded another 22 people, the sources said.

Militants have attacked dozens of cafes in Iraq in recent months and have repeatedly targeted other crowded areas, such as markets and mosques, despite the near-ubiquitous presence of security forces.

A roadside bomb also exploded near a market in the Besmaya area southeast of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least two people and wounding at least eight, officials said.

And in the Suwaib area of south Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed two Sahwa anti-Al-Qaeda fighters and wounded at least two others, while another blast in Madain, to the south of the city, killed at least one soldier and wounded at least two.

The attacks came a day after a series of bombings across Iraq, including 14 blasts in and around Baghdad, killed 39 people and wounded more than 130.

Violence in Iraq has reached a level this year not seen since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal period of rampant sectarian killings.

It took just eight days for this month's death toll to surpass that for the entire month of December last year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.

Officials have blamed Al-Qaeda-linked militants emboldened by the civil war in neighbouring Syria, but analysts and diplomats also say the government has not done enough to address underlying domestic grievances fuelling the violence.

Unrest spiked after security forces stormed a Sunni Arab protest camp north of Baghdad in April, sparking clashes that killed dozens of people.

Members of the country's Sunni minority, who complain of discrimination at the hands of the Shiite-led government, have held demonstrations for almost a year.

The government has made some concessions aimed at placating Sunni Arabs, including freeing prisoners and raising the salaries of anti-Al-Qaeda fighters. It has also trumpeted security operations against militants.

But the daily attacks have shown no sign of abating, and violence has killed more than 6,300 people since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures.

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