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Iraq bombings leave dozens dead

Dozens of people have been killed in a string of bombings across Iraq. The violence came as the death toll for 2013 in the country surpassed 5,500.

The deadliest attack on Thursday occurred in the Diyala province town of Sadiyah, around 140 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of Baghdad. At least 32 people were killed and 40 wounded when a truck bomb went off in a fruit and vegetable market near a cafe, officials said. Witnesses told police a man parked the truck at the market and asked workers to unload it before leaving.

In a separate attack a suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt at an army checkpoint in the town of Taji, north of the capital. The blast killed four soldiers and wounded 10, according to officials.

In the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Kasra, a bomb attached to a police officer's vehicle killed his son and wounded five others, authorities said. The police officer wasn't in the car at the time of the explosion.

In the southeastern area of Bayaa, a gun attack on a supermarket killed its two owners and wounded two shoppers, police and medical officials said.

Plagued by violence

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday's bloodshed, but Iraq has been plagued by sectarian violence of late. Sunni militants linked to al Qaeda often target security forces or crowded markets in Shiite areas.

The attacks came a day after at least 35 people were killed and 120 wounded during coordinated explosions in mainly Shiite areas in and around Baghdad. Last Thursday, a suicide bomber targeted Shiite pilgrims gathered in Sadiyah to commemorate the 7th century death of a revered shrine, killing at least 32 people.

According to the United Nations, more than 5,500 people, not counting Thursday's attacks, have been killed in violence across Iraq since the start of the year. The country is currently experiencing its worst spate of sectarian bloodshed since 2006-2007.

dr/ccp (AP, AFP)