Violence kills at least 12 across Iraq

BAGHDAD Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:07am EST

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At least 12 people were killed in violence across Iraq on Tuesday, mostly in bombings and shootings in Baghdad, police and medical sources said.

Four mortar rounds landed on houses in the town of Garma, 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Baghdad, killing four people and wounding six, a local official and hospital sources said.

Garma is close to Falluja, a city overrun by al Qaeda militants two weeks ago and now ringed by army tanks and troops.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the spate of attacks in Baghdad but the Shi'ite-led government has blamed Sunni militant groups, including al Qaeda, which have stepped up their incursions since last year and regained ground in western Iraq.

Tuesday's deadliest bombing took place in the predominantly Shi'ite Talbiya neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, where a device attached to a bus killed three people and wounded 12.

A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed a passer-by and wounded five in the mainly Shi'ite Kadhimiya district.

In western Baghdad, gunmen killed a judge and his driver in a drive-by shooting in Yarmouk district, police said, and gunmen killed two soldiers at a checkpoint in Abu Ghraib.

Two years after U.S. troops left Iraq, violence has climbed back to its highest levels since the sectarian bloodshed of 2006-07, when tens of thousands of people were killed.

Four car bombs killed at least 25 people and wounded 76 in Shi'ite districts of Baghdad on Monday.

(Reporting by Kareem Raheem; Writing by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Alistair Lyon, John Stonestreet)

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