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Mar 9, 2014 9:32 PM by Associated Press

Attacks kill more than 40 in Iraq

BAGHDAD - More than 40 people have been killed in the latest round of attacks on civilians and police in Iraq.

Authorities say today's deadliest attack of the day was a suicide car bombing in the southern city of Hillah. The blast struck a line of cars waiting at a checkpoint to be searched. Two police officers say the bombing set dozens of cars ablaze, killing 21 civilians and 15 security personnel and wounding at least 115.

Hillah is a Shiite-dominated city about 60 miles south of Baghdad.

Elsewhere, police say militants launched attacks just outside the capital against security forces and employees of the state-run oil company, killing six people and wounding 16.

No one has claimed responsibility for today's attacks, but they bore the hallmarks of an al-Qaida breakaway group that frequently uses car bombs and suicide attacks to target public areas and government buildings in a bid to undermine confidence in the government.

Next month Iraq holds its first parliamentary elections since the U.S. troops' withdrawal in late 2011.

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