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In Iraq, June Bloodshed Spills Over Into July In Iraq, June Bloodshed Spills Over Into July

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NATIONAL SECURITY

In Iraq, June Bloodshed Spills Over Into July

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Iraqis look at the damage from a rocket attack on a residential compound in central Baghdad on July 5 after several Iraqis were killed and wounded in the strike.(AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

A double bombing near an Iraqi government building on Tuesday morning left dozens dead and wounded, the second day of heightened violence following one of the bloodiest months in Iraq yet.

A car bomb exploded in the parking lot of a government building in the Sunni-dominated town of Taji on Tuesday morning. A roadside bomb detonated moments later in the town, not far from the border with Syria.

 

Though reports of the exact number of casualties vary, at least 35 people were said to be killed and 28 wounded.

A witness told Reuters that at the time of the attack, the area was full of civilians, employees, and police. CNN reported that police officers were among the casualties.

On Monday, a rocket struck near the Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 10 others, according to AP.

 

The hotel is located in the heavily guarded Green Zone and frequented by Iraqi politicians and businessmen, international visitors, and the media. AP reported the strike occurred at the same time as Fourth of July celebrations were taking place at the nearby U.S. embassy.

Militant attacks continue in Iraq as the January 1, 2012, deadline for American troop withdrawal approaches.

June was an especially deadly month for civilians and soldiers alike. Iraqi authorities reported that over 270 people were killed in Iraq last month, including 155 civilians, the most civilian casualties since the start of this year. A rocket attack last week left three American soldiers dead, bringing the count of American troops killed in the past month to 14, the highest monthly total since June 2008, and increasing total American casualties to 4,469 since the war started eight years ago.

Under the terms of the U.S.-Iraqi security pact, the 47,000 American troops currently stationed in Iraq are scheduled to be withdrawn by the end of this year. Officials are currently considering whether to extend that deadline, with discussions inevitably heightened by the recent spike in violence.

 
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