At least 11 people have been killed in two explosions near the central Iraqi city of Ramadi in the latest strike by militants seeking to destabilize the country.
Twenty-two people were also injured after two bombs exploded near a security checkpoint in the village of Zangoura, some 115 kilometers west of the capital Baghdad, on Friday, AP reported. Police officials said the first explosion was apparently caused by a roadside bomb, adding that the second blast struck as people who rushed to help the victims of the first bombing. The checkpoint was run by government-allied and anti-al-Qaeda Sahwa militia. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but coordinated bombings and attacks on Sahwa members are frequently the work of Iraqi al-Qaeda. Earlier in the day, Iraqi authorities raised to 36 the number of people killed in a series of bombings late Thursday that targeted soccer fans watching the Confederations Cup semifinal between Spain and Italy in cafes in and around Baghdad. Violence has risen sharply in Iraq in recent months. More than 600 people have been killed in this year's holy month of Ramadan alone, making it the bloodiest in six years. On Tuesday, nearly 50 people were killed and scores of others were injured in a series of car bombs targeting busy markets and shopping streets in and around Baghdad. The United Nations said on August 1 that a total of 1,057 Iraqis were killed and another 2,326 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in the month of July, making it the country's deadliest month since 2008. More than 4,000 people have died in terrorist attacks in Iraq so far in 2013, with Baghdad province being the worst hit.