String of bombings kill 12 in Iraq market

Three near-simultaneous bombings -- two car bombs and a suicide attack -- killed at least a dozen people in a fruit and vegetable wholesale market north of Baghdad on Monday, officials said.

The blasts went off in the predominantly Shiite town of Judaida al-Shat, which lies just west of the restive city of Baquba and remains one of Iraq's most dangerous.

The bombings left another 48 people wounded, a police officer and a medic said.

The explosions went off as the market was packed with grocery stall owners purchasing goods for the day's trading.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni militants linked to Al-Qaeda often target Shiite Muslims, whom they regard as apostates, in simultaneous and mass-casualty bombings.

The violence comes amid a surge in attacks in Iraq, with unrest in May pushing the month's death toll to the highest such figure since 2008, raising concerns of a revival of the all-out sectarian war that blighted the country in 2006 and 2007.

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