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Iraq bombings kill seven people


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KIRKUK: Bombings against two Shia places of worship in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk killed five people Sunday, while an attack on a Kurdish political office left two dead, police and doctors said.

Two car bombs and seven roadside bombs targeted two Shia places of worship, known as husseiniyahs, in Kirkuk, one in the city's north and another in its south, killing a total of five people and wounding 14, a senior police officer told AFP.

The attacks occurred around 1630 GMT, the officer said. A doctor from Kirkuk general hospital confirmed the toll.

Oil-rich and ethnically mixed Kirkuk is part of a swathe of territory in north Iraq that the autonomous Kurdistan region wants to incorporate, over the strong objections of Baghdad.

Earlier on Sunday, a car bomb exploded at the local headquarters of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party in the town of Jalawla in the province of Diyalah, after a number of people seeking to join the Kurdish peshmerga security forces had gathered, a police officer said.

The blast in Jalawla, which like Kirkuk lies in disputed territory, killed two recruits and wounded 13, the officer and a doctor at Jalawla Hospital said.

The dispute over territory in northern Iraq is the greatest threat to the country's long-term stability, diplomats and officials say. Ties between Baghdad and Kurdistan are also marred by disputes over oil and power-sharing.

While violence has decreased significantly from its peak in 2006-2007, attacks still occur almost every day in Iraq.

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