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Blasts kill 12 as Kerry visits Iraq capital

US Senator John Kerry/AFP

US Senator John Kerry/AFP

BAGHDAD, September 10 – Bomb attacks killed at least 12 people in Baghdad on Wednesday as US Secretary of State John Kerry visited the Iraqi capital for talks on combatting jihadists, officials said.

They said a suicide car bombing followed by a car bomb struck near a police checkpoint in a crowded area of eastern Baghdad, also wounding at least 31 people.

Militants led by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group overran swathes of Iraq in June, and security forces, Shiite militias and Kurdish fighters have been battling to regain ground.

The US began an air campaign against IS in Iraq on August 8, mainly in support of Kurdish forces in the north, though American warplanes have also carried out limited strikes in Salaheddin and Anbar provinces.

Kerry’s previously unannounced visit in Baghdad was the first stop on a regional tour to build support for a new US strategy, which he has said will only work with the backing of the “broadest possible coalition of partners around the globe.”

 

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