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45 killed, 63 wounded in violent attacks in Iraq

At least 45 people were killed and 63 others wounded in separate violent attacks across Iraq on Wednesday, interior ministry and police sources said.

A suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt blew himself up at al Temimi mosque in the Kasra area in northern Baghdad at about 6: 40 p.m. (1540 GMT), killing at least 30 people and injuring 55 others, a source in the Iraqi interior ministry told Xinhua.

The Iraqi security forces closed all the roads that lead to the explosion site as the wounded were rushed to hospital for treatment, the source added.

Earlier in the day, 15 people were killed and eight others wounded in separate attacks in Iraq, police said.

In the northern province of Nineveh, four soldiers were killed, including an officer, when gunmen using assault rifles attacked their checkpoint in southeast of the provincial capital city of Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

In a separate incident, a primary school principal was shot dead by gunmen in front of his house in eastern Mosul, the source said.

Meanwhile, gunmen shot dead a civilian in a village south of Mosul, while a police force found unidentified bodies of two young men in eastern the city, with bullet holes in their heads and chests, the source added.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, three policemen were killed and four wounded when gunmen attacked a checkpoint near the town of Buhruz, just south of the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source anonymously told Xinhua.

Separately, an official of the Sunni endowment office, responsible for running the Sunni mosques, was killed with his wife in a roadside bomb explosion near their car in the city of Kan'an, some 20 km east of Baquba, the source said.

In addition, a child was killed and four people were wounded when two roadside bombs went off near two houses in the eastern suburb of the city of Maqdadiyah, some 40 km northeast of Baquba, the source added.

In southern Iraq, gunmen shot dead a Sunni imam near his mosque in the town of Abu al-Khasib in southeast of the oil-hub city of Basra, some 550 km south of Baghdad, an official from the Sunni endowment told reporters.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the al-Qaida front in Iraq, in most cases, was responsible for such violent acts in the country, raising fears that the terrorist group could return to widespread violence.

Since early this year Iraq has witnessed worsening security situation and repeatedly massive bombings that have targeted different cities, indicating that high-profile violent attacks are still common in Iraq despite the dramatic decrease in violence since its peak in 2006 and 2007, when the country was engulfed in sectarian killings.

[Source: Xinhua, Baghdad, 11Sep13]

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