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Another Iraq bomber kills at least 23

| Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 9:36 p.m.

BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber blew himself up among a group of demonstrators complaining about lack of security in an ethnically disputed northern Iraqi city on Tuesday, in the deadliest of a spate of attacks that killed at least 23 people, authorities said.

Iraq is weathering its deadliest outburst of violence since 2008, with more than 2,000 people killed since the start of April. The bloodshed appears to be largely the work of resurgent Sunni militants such as al-Qaida, feeding off Sunni discontent with the Shiite-led government.

In the deadliest attack, at least one suicide bomber detonated his explosives near Turkomen protesters who had set up tents in the city of Tuz Khormato, according to Ali Abdul-Rahman, a spokesman for the Salahuddin provincial governor. He said the protesters were demanding tighter security for the community following a deadly car bombing Sunday.

The bombing killed at least 11 people and wounded 42, according to Munir al-Qafili, the head of the city council in nearby Kirkuk. Among those killed were two Turkomen leaders, Ahmed Abdel-Wahed and Ali Hashem Mukhtar Oglou.

“Such attacks aim to heighten tensions in this particularly sensitive region of Tuz Khurmatu,” U.N. envoy Martin Kobler said in a statement.

Tuz Khormato sits in a band of territory contested by Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen about 125 miles north of Baghdad.

In another attack, five Shiite pilgrims were killed after their bus was struck about 35 miles south of Baghdad while it was traveling between the towns of Musayyib and Iskandariyah, according to police and hospital officials.

Tens of thousands of Shiites are gathering in the holy city of Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, for the annual festival of Shabaniyah marking the anniversary of the birth of the ninth-century Shiite leader known as the Hidden Imam.

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