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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 14:27 GMT
Car bomb strikes eastern Baghdad
Scene of the blast in Kamaliya, eastern Baghdad
Violence in Baghdad is estimated to claim about 120 lives a day
A car bomb has exploded in an eastern suburb of Baghdad, killing at least 10 people and injuring about 25 others.

It occurred shortly before suicide bombers drove two trucks into an army base in northern Iraq, killing at least seven soldiers and injuring 15.

Both attacks come after a day of bloodshed in the capital in which at least 70 died in a city centre bombing.

Escalating violence has increased pressure on the US administration to alter its policy on Iraq.

But on Tuesday, the White House said it would not announce any changes until the New Year. President George W Bush had been expected to make a speech before Christmas.

In other attacks on Wednesday:

  • two car bomb blasts killed five people and injured at least 10 others in a southern district of Baghdad
  • gunmen shot dead nine members of a Shia family, including several children, in a village south of the capital, Iraqi police were quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Morning rush

The first attack on Wednesday happened at about 0845 local time (0545 GMT) in the suburb of Kamaliya, a predominantly Shia area of the capital, police said.

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The bomb exploded close to a mosque in an area often crowded in the morning with commuters and day labourers looking for work. All the casualties were civilians.

Many Iraqis now avoid crowded places as these are increasingly targeted by bombers, who have also been know to draw in crowds with false offers of employment.

But correspondents say the need for work means many are prepared to take the risk.

Tuesday's bombing occurred in the suburb of Sadr City when it was similarly crowded with poor Shias looking for a day's labour.

In November - the bloodiest since the US invaded in 2003 - the same suburb saw the most vicious attack to date. More than 200 people died in a string of bombings in the area.

The city is now widely seen to be in the grip of tit-for-tat sectarian violence.

Mass casualty attacks get more attention, but reality is that the violence is going on all the time, claiming an estimated 120 lives a day in Baghdad, the BBC's Andrew North says.

There are now at least 50-60 violent incident a day in the capital, our correspondent says.

'No changes yet'

Meanwhile at least seven soldiers died in an attack on an army base in the town of Riyadh, some 60 km (40 miles) south of the oil city of Kirkuk.

According to one report, the unit was guarding an oil installation.

Correspondents say attacks on these are common as insurgents are keen to prevent the US-backed government from getting oil revenue.

Amid spiralling violence, a long-awaited government-commissioned report on US policy in Iraq last week called for urgent action to stop "a slide towards chaos".

President Bush has acknowledged the need for a new approach but so far he has been sceptical of the central recommendations - notably talks with Iran and Syria.




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