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Bombs kill 18 in Iraq as Iran warns of instability

BAGHDAD — Bombs struck a cafe in Baghdad and remote communities in northern Iraq on Saturday, killing at least 18 people, as the visiting Iranian foreign minister warned that Iraq's instability affected the whole region.

The blasts came just over a week after suicide truck bombers devastated the foreign and finance ministries in Baghdad, killing about 100 people and dealing a blow to confidence in the Iraqi government's ability to protect the people as U.S. forces scale back their presence.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki called on neighboring countries to play a positive role in helping stabilize Iraq. His comments took on added significance amid a diplomatic dispute between Iraq and Syria over demands that Damascus extradite suspected Saddam Hussein loyalists blamed for the Baghdad ministry bombings.

"The lack of stability and security in Iraq will definitely affect the region," Mottaki said at a news conference with his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari. "All of Iraq's neighbors should work seriously and help Iraq in providing security and stability."

Saturday's deadliest attack was a suicide truck bombing targeting a small police station in the Sunni village of Hamad north of Baghdad, killing at least 12 people, including six police officers, and wounding 15, according to Iraqi officials.

A second bombing in northern Iraq targeted a market in the city of Sinjar, near the Syrian border. An explosives-laden truck blew up, killing at least four people and wounding 23, police said.

Two people were killed and 12 were wounded when an explosives-laden motorcycle was detonated near a cafe in an eastern section of Baghdad, officials said.

fast facts

Deaths last week

As of Saturday, 4,337 U.S. troops have died in the Iraq war. Identifications as reported by the military and not previously published:

Army 2nd Lt. Joseph D. Fortin, 22, St. Johnsbury, Vt.; explosion Aug. 23; Hussaniyah.

• Army Pvt. Taylor D. Marks, 19, Monmouth, Ore.; explosion Friday; Rashid.

• Army Sgt. Earl D. Werner, 38, Mondovi, Wis.; explosion Friday; Rashid.

Bombs kill 18 in Iraq as Iran warns of instability 08/29/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 29, 2009 9:50pm]
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