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In first month after US exit, Iraq's sectarian clashes have killed 170

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Saad Shalash/Reuters

(Read caption) Residents gather at the site of a bomb attack in Sadr city in northeastern Baghdad on Tuesday. Four car bombs exploded in mainly Shiite Muslim areas of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 14 people, bringing Iraq's 2012 death toll up to at least 170 people.

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 A series of bombings in Baghdad today killed 14 people, bringing Iraq's 2012 death toll up to at least 170 people less than a month into the country's first year without American troops on the ground since 2003.

The Associated Press reports that several explosive-laden cars were detonated in the neighborhoods of Sadr City and Shula and the district of Hurriya. Seventy people were wounded in the attacks, which all targeted predominantly Shiite areas.

The recent attacks are suspected of being a part of a campaign by Sunni insurgents targeting Shiite communities and Iraqi security forces in order to "undermine public confidence" in the Shiite-led government's ability to protect Iraqis without American troops to back them up, according to AP.

The Washington Post reports that, also today, gunmen killed Police Capt. Hassan Abdullah al Timimi and his family in their home, then set off two bombs as they left, according to a local pollice commander. 

According to Agence France-Presse, the Al Qaeda front group, the Islamic State of Iraq, vowed further attacks against Shiites in an online forum yesterday.

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