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Blasts kill 12 in Iraq

From Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
January 16, 2012 -- Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT)
  • Two bombings struck cities in Iraq on Monday
  • No group immediately claimed responsibility
  • Violence has declined but remains a problem

Baghdad (CNN) -- Two explosions killed 12 people in Iraq on Monday, authorities said.

The first blast, a car bomb, exploded in eastern Mosul killing at least nine people and wounding 13, police said.

Officers discovered another parked car rigged with explosives in the same area, said Mosul police Lt. Col. Hilal al-Ahmedi.

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

Democracy waning in Iraq?

In the second incident, a parked car bomb exploded in a busy outdoor market in central Hilla, roughly 60 miles (100 km) south of Baghdad, killing three civilians and wounding 15 others, police said. Hilla is predominantly Shiite city located in Babil province.

Despite a decrease in overall violence in Iraq, it still touches Iraqis almost every day. Ordinary Iraqis say the violence is largely sectarian, with the once-dominant Sunni Muslims believing Shiites are responsible, and the majority Shiites blaming Sunni insurgents.

Each group believes it is being targeted by the other.

Monday's attack in Mosul took place in the al-Ghadeer area, home to families from the Shiite Shabak ethnic group who were displaced from other parts of Mosul in the past few years.

Al Qaeda in Iraq, which no longer holds swaths of territory in Iraq, is strongest in Mosul, 260 miles north of Baghdad and one of Iraq's many sectarian fault lines.