Iraq Attacks Kill Nine as Violence Spikes

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Attacks in Iraq on Tuesday killed nine people, including at least five who died in twin bombings targeting the home of a tribal leader, the latest in spiraling violence.

In the deadliest attack, two bombs went off in short succession near the home of a tribal leader just southeast of Baghdad.

The first blast did not cause any casualties, but the second targeted onlookers and emergency responders, killing at least five people and wounding 11 others, according to police and a medical source.

The tribal leader was unharmed.

Attacks north of Baghdad, in the restive provinces of Diyala and Nineveh, left four others dead, including a tribal leader and a soldier, officials said.

Also among the four victims was a policeman who was beheaded in front of his family after militants stormed his house in the town of Jalawla, northeast of Baghdad.

Violence has increased markedly in Iraq this year, with attacks having killed more than 3,600 people, according to figures compiled by Agence France Presse.

Security forces have carried out wide-ranging operations in recent weeks in a bid to combat the unrest, arresting hundreds of alleged militants and killing dozens of others.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has vowed to press on with the anti-insurgent campaign, but analysts say the government should focus on resolving anger in the Sunni Arab community over perceived ill-treatment by the Shiite-led authorities and security forces.

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