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  Attacks strike five Iraqi cities
Updated 24 June 2004, 14.14
Car wreckage in Mosul
Police and soldiers in five Iraqi cities have been hit by what some say were co-ordinated attacks.

The worst strikes were in Mosul, where at least 44 people died and 216 were hurt by a series of car bombs.

Iraq's health ministry said at least 22 people died in attacks in the towns of Baquba, Ramadi and Falluja, and four were killed in a Baghdad car bombing.

Iraqi and US officials warned attacks would increase in the run-up to the handover of power to Iraqis on 30 June.


The British Government spoke out against the attacks.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair said they were meant to stop the power handover, but added: "They will not succeed."

The BBC's Middle East experts say it's not clear if the attacks were all organised together.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of a militant group, said his followers were responsible for the attack in Baquba.

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