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More than 30 killed in Iraq attacks

More than 30 killed in Iraq attacks
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 7:41am

Violence erupted in Iraq on Tuesday, with more than 30 slain and dozens injured in an atmosphere beset with political and Sunni-Shiite tensions.

At least 28 people were killed and more than 70 wounded in northern Iraq on Tuesday in fighting between security forces and gunmen, police said. The incident took place in Hawija, in Kirkuk province.

Earlier, at least four people were killed and 13 others were wounded when two roadside bombs exploded, one after another, outside a Sunni mosque in southern Baghdad, police said. The incident occurred in the neighborhood of Dora while Sunni worshipers were leaving the mosque, police said.

Sunnis, who comprise a minority of Iraqis, had clout during the Saddam Hussein era, but have been politically marginalized since his overthrow. Shiites, who make up a majority of Iraqis, dominate the government.

Since December, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of predominately Sunni provinces -- including Anbar, Nineveh, Salaheddin and Diyala -- demanding that the Shiite-led government stop what they call second-class treatment of Iraq's Sunni community.

Protesters also have been demonstrating for months in Hawija's al-Atisam Square.

Over the past months, al Qaeda in Iraq has claimed responsibility for several attacks across the country that targeted Shiite areas and Iraqi security forces.

A number of attacks have targeted the Sunni community in different locations over the past week. The deadliest one was at a popular coffee shop in western Baghdad, killing at least 27 people and wounding 51 others.

There was some violence during Saturday's Iraqi provincial elections, but there weren't major incidents and the polling was considered a success by Iraq, the United States, and the United Nations.

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