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Eight killed in Iraqi car bombing

A car bomb outside the northern Iraqi city of Mosul has killed at least eight people.

A Mosul police official said the blast struck a Shiite district early on Monday about 20 miles outside the city, which is predominantly Sunni.

An official at Mosul's Al-Jomhouri hospital confirmed the death toll.

The bombing is the latest in a string of attacks that have killed more than 140 people since the US withdrew its troops from the country last month.

Most of the attacks appear to be aimed at Iraq's Shiite majority, suggesting Sunni insurgents are seeking to undermine the Shiite-dominated government.

The blast struck a Shiite district outside of Mosul, a predominantly Sunni city some 225 miles north-west of Baghdad, a police official said.

The hospital said at least six people were wounded in the attack.

A member of the city's local council, Qusai Abbas, said the car that blew up was parked outside a group of houses where Shiites have settled since being driven out of Mosul by Sunni militants during fierce sectarian fighting a few years ago.

With violence appearing to be on the rise, Iraq also finds itself facing a political crisis after the Shiite-dominated government charged Sunni vice president Tareq al-Hashemi with running death squads, issuing an arrest warrant against him just as the last US soldiers crossed into neighbouring Kuwait.

The sectarian crisis in the government and the spike in attacks - such as a bombing on Saturday that killed more than 50 Shiite pilgrims and an assault on Sunday on government buildings in western Anbar province that killed seven - has raised concerns Iraq could return to the sort of sectarian bloodshed that killed tens of thousands of civilians after the 2003 US-led invasion and brought the country to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007.


From Belfast Telegraph