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Five killed in Baghdad attacks

Five people have been killed in a shooting and bombings in Baghdad, including two teenage girls suspected of prostitution who were shot by gunmen who stormed their home, Iraqi police said.

Police investigating the shooting in the southern Dora neighbourhood said the two female victims were 15 and 19-year-old relatives. They said a 14-year-old brother of the younger victim was also killed and their mother was wounded.

The woman's husband is suspected of being behind the killing, possibly to avenge the family honour, police officials said.

An official with Iraq's interior ministry said attacks on suspected brothels in the capital and in the southern city of Basra have been on the rise this year.

Elsewhere, a civilian and a policeman were killed and nine were wounded when a bomb exploded in central Baghdad when police tried to defuse a bomb residents found in the garbage near a restaurant.

In a separate incident, an Iraqi security officer was killed when a bomb attached to his car exploded in western Baghdad, police and hospital officials said.

Street crime and vendettas appear to be soaring in Iraq as sectarian fighting wanes and the US military prepares to withdraw its forces by the end of next year.

Criminals and insurgents are exploiting security gaps as Iraqi politicians bicker over the formation of a new government more than three months after parliamentary elections.

None of Iraq's main political groups won a clear majority in the March 7 vote and the new 325-seat legislature has met only once. It is scheduled to meet again on July 14.

Militants from the Sunni and Shiite communities fought each other in 2006 and 2007 - the height of Iraq's sectarian violence - and between them killed thousands of innocent Iraqis from both sides of the sectarian divide.

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