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Bombs kill 4, judge shot as Iraq attacks grind on

BAGHDAD — Bombers killed four people in two Iraqi cities and gunmen assassinated a judge, officials said Sunday, as Al Qaeda’s affiliate stepped up its attacks six months after the last US troops withdrew.

Three coordinated bomb attacks within minutes of each other Sunday morning hit the central city of Tikrit, 80 miles north of Baghdad, a provincial official said. A civilian walking by was killed and two others were wounded.

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The bombs went off near a middle school where students were taking exams, but authorities said none of the students was hurt.

Farther south, three policemen died when a suicide car bomb and three roadside bombs exploded at a security checkpoint on Saturday night in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, a police official said.

The bombing Saturday night raised the death toll for June to at least 237, the second-bloodiest month since US troops withdrew from Iraq in mid-December.

In the northern city of Mosul, gunmen killed criminal court judge Abdul-Latif Mohammed in a drive-by shooting as he was returning home from work, police said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Government officials and security forces are among the chief targets of Al Qaeda-affiliated insurgents, who specialists say have been emboldened by political feuding that has paralyzed the government and are hoping to reignite ethnic and sectarian fighting.

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