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New wave of violence hits Iraq

A series of suicide bombing and shootings in northern and central Iraq has left at least 11 people dead.

They were the latest incidents in a wave of violence that has claimed more than 2,000 lives since the start of April. Militants, building on Sunni discontent with the Shiite-led government, appear to have grown stronger in central and northern Iraq.

An assault on a police station near the town of Hawija started with a gunman on foot opening fire on guards, according to Brigadier General Mohammed Khalaf.

A suicide bomber with an explosives belt then blew himself up in the reception area, and a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into the building. Three policemen were killed and five others wounded.

Hawija, a former insurgent stronghold, is about 150 miles north of Baghdad. The predominantly Sunni town and surrounding areas have been tense since April, when Iraqi security forces launched a deadly crackdown on a Sunni protest there in which 23 people, including three soldiers, died.

In the nearby city of Tuz Khormato, 130 miles north of Baghdad, two parked car bombs went off in a residential area, killing one civilian and wounding 27 others, a police officer said.

A mortar round hit a motel in central Baghdad, killing three civilians and wounding nine others, police said.

At night, gunmen carrying guns fitted with silencers opened fire on a group of people standing in the street in Baghdad's northern Qahira neighbourhood, killing four and wounding two others, said police officials.

Qahira was the scene of a suicide attack inside a Shiite mosque last week which killed at least 34 people.

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