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Iran Pres. Pledges Support for Iraq    10/21 06:37

   Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says Iran will stand by its neighbor Iraq in 
its fight against the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State group.

   TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says Iran will stand by 
its neighbor Iraq in its fight against the Sunni extremists of the Islamic 
State group.

   Rouhani told visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Heidar al-Abadi on Tuesday that 
Iran "will remain on the path until the last day," according to a report by the 
official IRNA news agency.

   Rouhani says Iran will continue to provide Baghdad with military advisers 
and weapons. He also criticized the U.S. for allegedly failing to sufficiently 
support Iraq.

   THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. 
AP's earlier story is below.

   Bombings in and near Baghdad killed 19 people on Tuesday, the latest in 
near-daily attacks targeting the Iraqi capital as the country's Shiite-led 
government grapples with a rampant Sunni insurgency by the Islamic State group.

   Police officials said the deadliest attack took place Tuesday afternoon when 
a double car bomb attack hit Habaybina restaurant in the Shiite-majority 
district of Talibiya in eastern Baghdad, killing eight people and wounding 20 
others.

   Earlier, a bomb struck at an out-door market in the southern district of Abu 
Dashir, a mostly Shiite neighborhood, killing four people and wounding nine, 
police officials said.

   A little bit later, a bomb that went off near a small restaurant in central 
Baghdad killed five people and wounded 12, the officials said. Another bomb 
exploded at a commercial street in the town of Madian, just south of Baghdad, 
killing two people and wounding four.

   Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on 
condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.

   No one immediately claimed responsibility for the latest attacks but they 
bore the hallmarks of the al-Qaida-breakaway Islamic State group which has 
captured large chunks of territory in western and northern Iraq, plunging the 
country into its worst crisis since U.S. troops left at the end of 2011.

   On Monday, militants unleashed a wave of deadly attacks on Iraq's majority 
Shiite community, killing at least 43 people. In the Shiite holy city of 
Karbala --- home to the tombs of two revered Shiite imams and the site of 
year-round pilgrimages --- four separate car bombs went off simultaneously, 
killing at least 26 people.

   The attacks on the Shiites are likely calculated by the Sunni extremists to 
sow fear among Iraqis on both sides of the sectarian divide.


(KA)


 
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