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Officials: Attacks kill 10 people in Iraq

July 17, 2013

BAGHDAD (AP) — Attacks in Iraq targeting diners in two cafes and swimmers in a stream killed at least 10 people on Wednesday, as violence surges during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Violence in Iraq is now at its deadliest level in half a decade, raising fears the country is returning to the widespread bloodshed that pushed the country to the edge of civil war. More than 2,800 people have been killed since the start of April.

The deadlier of the two attacks took place late at night when a bomb went off inside a cafe packed with people in the restive city of Mosul, killing five and wounding 14.

Mosul, a former al-Qaida stronghold, is 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad.

Shortly before midnight, a bomb exploded inside a cafe in Baghdad’s northern neighborhood of Azamiyah, killing one person and wounding six others, according to security officials.

In many Iraqi cities, cafes where people gather at night have become frequent targets of militants.

Hours earlier, police said a bomb exploded near a group of people who were swimming in a stream in Wajihiya, a town 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Baghdad, killing two swimmers and two passers-by. The swimmers were trying to escape the summer heat.

Temperatures in Baghdad soared above 45 degrees Celsius (115 degrees Fahrenheit).

Earlier this week, a mortar attack on swimmers in the Tigris River killed four people

Hospital officials confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to reporters.

Update hourly