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Dozens killed in Iraq bomb attacks

At least 38 people have been killed in a series of bomb attacks in central Iraq, police and medical officials say.

Sixteen died when a suicide bomber target a funeral for a pro-government Sunni militiaman in a village south of Baquba, the capital of Diyala province.

Seven car bombs meanwhile exploded across Baghdad, killing at least 22 people and wounding dozens more.

There has been a surge in sectarian violence across Iraq in the past year, reaching levels not seen since 2007.

The United Nations says 7,818 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces died in 2013. December alone saw at least 759 killed.

Wednesday’s attacks come amid a continuing stand-off between security forces and Sunni militants aligned to al-Qaeda who seized control of the city of Falluja, west of Baghdad, more than two weeks ago.

The militants launched co-ordinated attacks to the north of the city on Tuesday, destroying two army tanks and capturing a police station.

Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, a Shia, has vowed to eradicate the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), but has ruled out an assault on Falluja, saying residents must force the group to leave.

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