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Bomb attacks on Kurds kill 18 as Iraq violence rages on

BAGHDAD--A car bomb attack and a suicide blast Sunday killed 18 people at a Kurdish political party's office north of Baghdad, aas at least nine others died in violence elsewhere in Iraq.

Militants have launched major operations in multiple provinces in recent days, killing scores of people and highlighting both their long reach and the weakness of Iraqi security forces.

Iraq is suffering its worst violence in years, and with none of the myriad problems that contribute to the heightened unrest headed for quick resolutions, the bloodshed is likely to continue unabated.

In Sunday's deadliest attack, a car bomb exploded near an office of President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party and an Kurdish asayesh security forces building in the town of Jalawla, north of Baghdad.

As emergency workers came to the scene, a suicide bomber detonated explosives. The two blasts killed 18 people and wounded 67.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though suicide bombings are a tactic mainly employed by Sunni Muslim militants in Iraq.

In the northern city of Mosul, where security forces have battled militants in days of heavy clashes, shelling hit three western areas, killing eight people and wounding three.

And in Sargaran, northwest of the city of Kirkuk, three roadside bombs killed a civilian and wounded three soldiers.

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