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Twin car bombings rip through commercial area in Baghdad suburb, kill at least 11 people


BAGHDAD — A pair of car bombings in a Baghdad suburb on Monday killed at least 11 people and wounded dozens, officials said, hours after the arrival of the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, for talks with the Iraqi officials.

Shortly before noon, the two explosive-laden cars went off simultaneously in a commercial area of the Shiite-dominated Husseiniyah district in northeastern Baghdad, a police officer said. Two policemen were among the dead. At least 26 people were wounded in the attack, he added.

A medical official confirmed the casualty figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to brief the media.

The U.N. mission in Iraq, known as UNAMI, announced Ban's arrival on its Twitter account, but gave no details on the talks. He met with Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and parliament speaker Salim al-Jubouri. Ban is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

The attack and the visit come as Iraqi government forces, backed by airstrikes from the U.S.-led international coalition, are battling Islamic State militants to recapture the city of Tikrit, north of Baghdad. The extremist group occupies large areas in northern and western Iraq captured during a lightning blitz last summer.

Associated Press writer Murtada Faraj in Baghdad contributed to this report.

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