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Suicide car bomb kills 7 in Baghdad

A suicide car bomb in a Shiite neighbourhood in northern Baghdad has killed seven people and wounded 18, according to Iraqi officials.

Two police officers said the attacker rammed his explosives-laden car into an army checkpoint in the busy Kazimiyah neighbourhood, killing five soldiers and two civilian bystanders. They said 18 other people, including six civilians, were wounded.

A medical official in a nearby hospital confirmed the casualty figure.

Two revered Shiite saints are buried in Kazimiyah, making it one of the country's main pilgrimage destinations for Shiites and an important commercial hub in the capital.

Violence has spiked in Iraq in recent weeks, raising fears of a return to widespread sectarian bloodshed.

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