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23 killed in violent attacks in Iraq

A total of 23 people were killed and 40 others wounded in bombings and gunmen attacks across Iraq on Saturday, security sources said.

In Anbar province, at least four people were killed and 15 wounded at dawn when Iraqi army pounded the town of Garma near the militant-seized city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a provincial police source said.

Separately, the army tanks and artillery pounded several neighborhoods in the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, leaving eight civilians killed and 11 others wounded along with damaging nine houses and three shops, the source said.

Meanwhile, gunmen attacked an army checkpoint in central Ramadi in the morning and killed three soldiers and wounded five others, the source added.

The attackers also destroyed two military vehicles before they fled the scene, he said.

Also in Ramadi, a security force opened fire on a suicide bomber and forced him to blew up his explosive vest before he reached his target at an army base in central the city, he added.

Near Ramadi, gunmen broke into the house of an army officer late on Friday night in Unkour area, just southeast of Ramadi, and kidnapped the officer and two of his sons, the source said.

In Baghdad, two roadside bombs went off in a quick succession in Doura district in the southern part of the Iraqi capital, leaving one civilian killed and five others wounded, a police source said.

In a separate incident, a soldier was killed and another wounded in a roadside bomb near their patrol in Abu Ghraib area, some 25 km west of Baghdad, a local police source said.

In addition, another soldier was killed and two others were wounded when a roadside bomb struck their patrol in Tarmiyah area, some 40 km north of Baghdad, a local police source said.

Elsewhere, two police officer were killed when gunmen attacked their car on a main road near the city of Baiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad, a local police source said.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, a soldier was killed and another wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near their patrol in the town of Udheim, some 60 km north of the provincial capital city of Baquba, a provincial police source said.

Separately, soldiers shot dead a suicide bomber before he reached their checkpoint in Abu Saida area near Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, the source said.

Iraqi police found a body of a male in his 30s dumped near Diyala River near the city of Baquba, with bullet holes in his head and chest, the source added.

The violence came less than two weeks ahead of landmark parliamentary elections on April 30, the first in the country since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in late 2011.

[Source: Xinhua, Bagdad, 19Apr14]

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