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23 killed in Iraq car bombings

BAGHDAD — A series of car bombings in Iraq struck five Shi’ite mosques as worshipers were emerging from Friday prayers, killing at least 23 people, officials said.

The attacks — four in Baghdad and one in the country’s north — were the latest assaults staged by insurgents seeking to undermine the Shi’ite-led government.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the bombings bore the hallmarks of Al Qaeda’s Iraq branch.

In the first blast in Baghdad, a parked car exploded in the Jihad neighborhood, killing seven and wounding 25, police said. A bombing in the Qahira neighborhood killed four and hurt about 20, while a blast killed three in the Zafaraniyah district. A fourth car bomb killed five in the ­Binook neighborhood.

In Kirkuk, a suicide bomber drove into worshipers as they were leaving a mosque, killing three people, according to police Colonel Najat Hassan.

Also Friday, a roadside bomb struck a joint patrol north of Baghdad, killing an army officer and a police officer, a police official said.

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