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35 killed in twin bomb attack north of Baghdad
by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) July 5, 2011

At least 35 people were killed and 28 wounded in a double bomb attack in the city of Taji north of Baghdad on Tuesday, an interior ministry official said.

"Thirty-five people were killed and 28 wounded when a car bomb and an improvised bomb exploded simultaneously outside a government office where national identification cards are issued, and the provincial council offices," the official said.

He said the blasts struck at 12 pm (0900 GMT). Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim Atta confirmed the attacks.

He also said that at least five people were killed by a rocket strike on the grounds of Baghdad's Al-Rasheed hotel late on Monday.

"A Katyusha rocket struck at 9 pm (1800 GMT) on Monday in the grounds of the Rasheed Hotel where workers live in mobile homes," he told AFP.

"Five people were killed and 25 trailer homes were destroyed," he said.

Atta said that security forces had arrested two men in the south Baghdad Shiite district of Zafraniyah, from where the attack was launched.

He said another Katyusha rocket launcher and a video camera were seized from the men.

The violence came after June saw the highest monthly death toll for Iraqis so far this year. A total of 271 were killed in attacks, according to government figures.

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Attacks kill four NATO soldiers in Afghan east
Kabul (AFP) July 5, 2011 - Four NATO soldiers were killed Tuesday in two attacks in eastern Afghanistan, where mostly US troops are battling a fierce Taliban insurgency close to the border with Pakistan, the military said.

Three soldiers were killed in an improvised bomb explosion and the fourth in an attack, the international force said, without giving further details or announcing their nationalities.

The deaths came one day after a British soldier was found dead close to his post in the restive southern province of Helmand hours after going missing, overshadowing a surprise visit by British premier David Cameron to the area.

The four deaths on Tuesday brought the overall death toll to 288 foreign troops killed this year in Afghanistan, according to a tally based on that collated by the independent website iCasualties.org.

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Iraq Kurd leader warns Iran over shelling
Arbil, Iraq (AFP) July 3, 2011
The president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region has warned that ties with Tehran could suffer if Iran continues cross-border shelling against opponents, in a statement Sunday. "We condemn the artillery fire against Iranian citizens in the border region of Kurdistan," Massud Barzani said, in the statement posted on his office website. "This action is unjustified and may affect relatio ... read more

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