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An Iraqi man inspects vehicles damaged in a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. Iraqi officials say bombings in and around Baghdad have killed and wounded tens of people. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

Iraq violence kills intensifies in run-up to Shi'ite holy day

Suicide bombers and gunmen killed at least 54 people in Iraq on Monday, medical and police sources said, in attacks mostly targeting Shi'ite Muslims, who mark a big religious festival next week.

Al Qaeda-linked Sunni Muslim militants have intensified attacks on the security forces, civilians and anyone seen as supporting the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad, tipping Iraq back into its deadliest levels of violence in five years. (Reuters)

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