Twelve killed in Baghdad attacks

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IOL pic feb3 mideast iraq patrol Associated Press Armoured vehicles from the Iraqi Army are seen on patrol in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, on February 1, 2014.

Baghdad - Attacks in and around Baghdad, including four car bombs that ripped through several different neighbourhoods, killed at least 12 people on Monday, security and medical officials said.

Eight people were killed in the explosions while authorities also found the bodies, bearing signs of torture, of four people who were shot dead earlier on Monday.

Five people were killed in two separate car bombs - one of which was detonated by a suicide attacker - in the town of Mahmudiyah, just south of the capital, while three others were killed by vehicles rigged with explosives in the Baghdad neighbourhoods of Baladiyat and Hurriyah.

In western Baghdad, police found the bodies of three men and one woman who were all killed by gunshots to the head, officials said.

The violence comes amid a long-running surge in bloodshed that left more than 1 000 people dead last month, the highest such figure since April 2008, according to government data.

Adding to the insecurity in the country, Iraqi forces have been waging gun battles with militants in Anbar province, to the west of Baghdad, where for weeks parts of one city and all of another have been outside of government control.

Soldiers, policemen and tribal fighters have pressed an assault on Ramadi, capital of Anbar, in a bid to wrest back control of neighbourhoods that fell out of government control weeks earlier, and officials have said an incursion into nearby Fallujah is imminent. - AFP

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