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Five dead in car bombs north of Baghdad

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Car bombs on the outskirts of a confessionally-mixed city north of Baghdad killed five people on Tuesday, amid a surge in violence that has left 4,000 dead this year.

Authorities have sought to tackle the country's worst unrest since 2008 with wide-ranging operations targeting militants as well as tight traffic measures in the capital, but attacks have continued to rock many cities.

Two car bombs went off on the northern and eastern outskirts of Baquba, capital of Diyala province and one of Iraq's least-stable cities, security and medical officials said.

Overall, five people were killed and a dozen more were wounded.

Baquba lies around 60 kilometres (35 miles) north of Baghdad and it, as well as the surrounding province, is mostly populated by Sunni Arabs, albeit with substantial Shiite Muslim and Kurdish minorities.

Violence has surged in Iraq, with at least 4,000 people killed since the beginning of 2013, according to an AFP tally.

Officials have vowed to press on with a campaign targeting militants they say has led to the capture of hundreds of fighters and the killing of dozens more.

But the government has faced criticism for not doing more to defuse anger in the Sunni Arab community over alleged ill treatment at the hands of the Shiite-led authorities.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130910/five-dead-car-bombs-north-baghdad