Iraqis inspect the site of a blast in Samarra, north of Baghdad, on May 20, 2013
Iraqis inspect the site of a blast in Samarra, north of Baghdad, on May 20, 2013. At least eight people have been killed in five bombings and clashes between Iraqi soldiers and gunmen, in the latest in a spate of violence that has cost more than 370 lives so far this month. © Mahmoud al-Samarrai - AFP/File
Iraqis inspect the site of a blast in Samarra, north of Baghdad, on May 20, 2013
AFP
Last updated: May 21, 2013

Iraqi violence kills eight

Violence in Iraq, including a bombing near a mosque, killed 18 people on Tuesday, officials said, the latest in a spate of unrest that has cost more than 370 lives so far this month.

The bomb near a mosque in Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, killed five people and wounded at least 16, officials said.

Dozens of mosques have been attacked so far this year, including two Shiite places of worship in Hilla, south of Baghdad, where bombs killed 13 people on Monday.

Near Baquba, north of Baghdad, gunmen killed a Sunni couple in their home but spared their three children, while two roadside bombs at a market near the city killed three people and wounded seven, police and a doctor said.

In Tarmiyah, also north of the capital, clashes between soldiers and gunmen, and a suicide bombing killed three soldiers and wounded at least seven, security and medical officials said.

Two car bombs exploded in a Shiite Turkmen neighbourhood of the northern town of Tuz Khurmatu, killing three people and wounding 44, and causing extensive damage to 10 houses, police and a doctor said.

And two roadside bombs detonated in a sheep market in the northern city of Kirkuk, killing two people and wounding 25, officials said. The explosions also killed a number of sheep, seen lying at the site.

Tuz Khurmatu and Kirkuk are part of a swathe of territory that Kurdish leaders want to incorporate in their autonomous region in the north over the strong objections of the federal government -- a dispute diplomats and officials say is a major threat to the country's long-term stability.

The attacks came a day after attacks killed more than 60 people across Iraq.

Tensions are festering in Iraq between the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite, and the Sunni Arab minority which accuses authorities of discriminating against their community, including through wrongful detentions and accusations of involvement in terrorism.

Violence in Iraq has fallen from its peak in 2006 and 2007 but attacks are still common, killing more than 200 people in each of the first five months of this year, according to AFP figures.

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