Terrorist attacks claim five lives in northern Iraq

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At least five people have been killed in another wave of terrorist attacks in northern Iraq as the Arab state continues to grapple with bloody violence ahead of the upcoming parliamentary polls.

According to official sources, four Iraqi soldiers were shot dead when assailants attacked a military checkpoint in the northern city of Mosul on Thursday. Another man was also killed in a separate shooting incident in the Iraqi city.

Earlier in the day, at least eleven people lost their lives and nearly 30 others were wounded after a car bomb went off at a police checkpoint in the Iraqi city of Hillah located south of the capital, Baghdad.

According to the latest AFP figures based on security and medical sources, violence has so far killed more than 560 people across Iraq since the beginning of this month.

The deadly attacks come as the Arab country is preparing to hold important parliamentary elections on April 30. This will be Iraq’s first parliamentary vote since the US withdrew its forces from the country in 2011.

Iraq has been experiencing its deadliest cycle of violence in the past six years, with the Anbar Province viewed as the epicenter of the al-Qaeda-linked militancy that has gripped the country’s west over the past months.

Iraqi troops, backed by local Sunni tribesmen, have been fighting al-Qaeda-affiliated militants in the country’s western regions since late December 2013.

In March, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saudi Arabia and Qatar were responsible for the security crisis and growing terrorism in his country, denouncing the Al Saud regime as a major supporter of global terrorism.

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