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Three explosions kill at least 7 in southern Iraq

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REPORTING FROM BAGHDAD –- At least seven people were killed and dozens injured when three bombs hidden in motorcycles exploded Wednesday in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, according to military and other sources.

The blasts occurred around 8 p.m. near businesses including a cafe and shop where some young men were playing billiards, officials said. Three Iraqi police officers were among about 30 people wounded.

The attacks heightened concerns among many Iraqis about the possibility of a stepped-up campaign of violence by militants ahead of the full withdrawal of U.S. troops by year’s end.

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