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  1/22/2013, Shevat 11, 5773

Relative Calm Shattered as Attacks in Iraq Kill 26


A wave of attacks in and around Baghdad and in northern Iraq killed 26 people and wounded dozens more on Tuesday, shattering a relative calm after a spate of deadly violence last week, AFP reported.

The unrest comes amid a political crisis that has pitted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki against several of his erstwhile government partners and with more than four weeks of anti-government protests in Sunni majority areas hardening opposition against the Shiite leader's rule.

Tuesday's bloodiest blasts struck an army checkpoint south of Baghdad, a military base north of the capital, and a mostly Shiite neighbourhood in the city's north, security and medical officials said.

No group claimed responsibility, but Sunni militants often launch attacks in a bid to destabilise the government and push Iraq back towards the sectarian violence that blighted it from 2005 to 2008.