Car bombs kill 14 in Iraq, officials say

BAGHDAD (AP) — A series of car bomb explosions in and around Baghdad killed 14 people including seven policemen on Thursday, police officials said, adding that dozens were also wounded.

The officials said the deadliest attacks took place late at night when a suicide attacker rammed his explosives-laden car into the headquarters of a police commando unit in the Taji area, killing seven policemen and wounding 12 others.

Taji is 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Baghdad.

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

According to the United Nations, at least 1,045 Iraqi civilians and security personnel were killed in May. The tally surpassed April’s 712 killed, making May the deadliest month recorded since June 2008.

Earlier in the day, police officials said a car bomb exploded at a livestock market in the southeastern suburb of Nahrawan, killing four civilians and wounding 22. A second car bomb went off in the industrial area of the southwestern neighborhood of Bayaa, killing three people and wounding 11.

Three medical officials confirmed the causality figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.

The attacks came just a day after gunmen ambushed a group of travelers at a fake checkpoint at a desert site in western Iraq, killing at least 14 of them.

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Associated Press Writer Sameer N. Yacoub contributed to this report.

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