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Iraq bombs kill 25 people as Muslims celebrate Ramadan

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
July 23, 2012 -- Updated 0031 GMT (0831 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The bombs happened in predominantly Shiite areas
  • 99 people were wounded
  • An Iraqi soldier and a policeman were killed in separate incidents

Baghdad (CNN) -- Bombs in Shiite areas of Iraq claimed the lives of 25 people Sunday, the second day of the Muslim holy month Ramadan. An Iraqi soldier and a policeman also died in separate incidents.

The violence started in the morning, when a car bomb exploded outside a popular restaurant in the central city of Najaf, about 100 miles south of Baghdad, an official with Iraq's Interior Ministry said. Five people were killed and 14 others were wounded.

A string of deadly attacks hits Iraq
A wave of deadly attacks in Iraq

Just before sunset, when Muslims break their daily Ramadan fast, three roadside bombs exploded within a few minutes of each other at the crowded al-Tameem market in a predominantly Shiite area in Baghdad's southern outskirts, police officials in the capital said. Fifteen people were killed and 60 others wounded, police said.

Police: 11 dead, 37 wounded in Iraq blast

Later in the evening, five people were killed and 25 wounded when a car bomb exploded in another market, this time in Mahmoudiya, a predominantly Shiite area about 19 miles south of the capital, police in Baghdad said.

Separately, a sniper killed an Iraqi soldier in Falluja on Sunday afternoon as he stood near his patrol, local police officials said. Falluja is in Anbar province, just west of Baghdad.

A car bomb exploded near a police patrol in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in the evening, killing a policeman and wounding 16 others, including three officers, a police official in the city said. The city is predominantly Sunni.

While the violence in Iraq has dropped since the peak of sectarian strife between 2005 and 2007, Iraqi residents continue to express concerns over the stability of the country and the efficacy of its security forces.

6 killed, 20 wounded in Iraq bomb blast, police say

Bombings over three consecutive days earlier this month left 52 people dead. In June, at least 240 people were killed in militant attacks in Iraq, according to CNN estimates.

The recent carnage coincides with an emerging political crisis in the war-torn Middle Eastern nation, which faces an increasingly fractious legislature as Iraq's Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish political blocs increasingly seem at odds.

Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has struggled to forge a lasting power-sharing agreement and has yet to fill key Cabinet positions, including the ministers of defense, interior and national security, while his backers have also shown signs of wobbling support.

Series of deadly attacks hit Iraq

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