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World & Nation

2 suicide bombers kill at least 14 at Baghdad checkpoints

Iraq suicide bomb

Residents and security forces gather at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Baghdad on Sept. 17.

 

(Hadi Mizban / Associated Press)

Two suicide attackers targeted Iraqi police checkpoints in commercial areas in central Baghdad during rush hour Thursday, killing at least 14 people, officials said.

Both attacks were carried out by bombers on foot, wearing explosives-laden vests, two police officers said. One bomber struck in Baghdad’s Bab Sharji area, killing eight civilians and a police officer there. Twenty-one were wounded in that explosion.

The second bomber hit in Wathba Square, killing five people, including two policemen, and wounding 12.

Two medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to reporters.

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Iraq is going through its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops. The Islamic State group controls large swaths of the country’s north and west after capturing Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul and the majority of the western Anbar province last year.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, which bore the hallmarks of Islamic State, a splinter of Iraq’s Al Qaeda branch. Following its blitz last year, Islamic State now holds about a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in its self-declared “caliphate.”

Since the emergence of Islamic State extremists, Baghdad has seen near-daily attacks, with roadside bombs, suicide blasts and assassinations targeting Iraqi forces and government officials. There have been significant casualties among the civilian population.

The violence has killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands of Iraqis.

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