Iraq bombings kill at least 14 civilians and wound dozens, officials say

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BAGHDAD A new wave of bombings in Iraq killed at least 14 civilians and wounded dozens on Tuesday, as insurgents try to exploit the country's political instability and undermine government efforts to maintain security.

The deadliest took place near the eastern city of Baqouba when three car bombs targeted outdoor markets, killing at least 10 civilians and wounding 34, a police officer said. Baqouba, a former al Qaeda stronghold, is 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.

Another police officer said a bomb hidden inside a coffee shop in the town of Latifiyah killed four and wounded 14. The town is located about 20 miles south of Baghdad.

Three medical officials confirmed the figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

Market places, restaurants, coffee shops and parks are favorite targets of militant groups seeking to sow havoc. More than 4,000 people have been killed over the past five months alone. That includes 804 Iraqis killed just last month, according to United Nations figures released earlier this week.

No one claimed immediate responsibility for the attacks. But coordinated car bombings and attacks on civilians and security forces are a favorite tactic of the Iraqi branch of al Qaeda. It typically does not lay claim to attacks for several days, if at all.

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