- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 9, 2009

BAGHDAD (AP) — A suicide bomber on Thursday killed at least 34 people and injured 70 near a judge’s house in northern Iraq, and a bomb attack in Baghdad killed six people, authorities said.

The attacks came one day after car bombs in two Shiite villages near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul killed 16 civilians and injured more than two dozen, signaling the challenges that face Iraq despite big improvements in security in the past two years.

The suicide attack in the northern town of Tal Afar happened at around 6:30 a.m., a police officer and an official in the provincial command center said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

In Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded near a market at around 7:30 a.m. in the Shiite district of Sadr City, and another bomb exploded one minute later and about 100 meters away, killing six and injuring 25, a police official and a medic said on condition of anonymity.

Hassan Abdullah, a 32-year-old vegetable salesman, said he heard the first blast and went to see what was happening when a second bomb hidden in trash exploded. He said he fell to the ground and was taken to a hospital with hand and leg injuries.

Iraq is more secure now than in the past years of war, but lethal attacks persist and political reconciliation among the countries diverse factions has yet to occur. U.S. combat forces pulled back from cities to bases outside urban centers at the end of June, signaling confidence in the ability of Iraqi forces to keep order.

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