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Iraqi officials say bombings, shooting kill 19 people around Baghdad

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BAGHDAD — Bombings and a shooting killed at least 19 people around the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Thursday, including soldiers and Shiite militiamen, officials said.

Police officials say the deadliest attack took place Thursday afternoon when two suicide bombers set off their explosive belts inside a Shiite militia headquarters in the town of Mishada, 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Baghdad, killing seven Shiite militiamen and wounding 20 others.

Shiite militias have been fighting alongside government forces against the Islamic State, a Sunni extremist group that seized vast swaths of northern and western Iraq last year.

In a separate attack, gunmen in a speeding car opened fire on soldiers manning a checkpoint in Baghdad's western suburb of Abu Ghraib, killing three soldiers and wounding eight others, police officials said.

A bomb blast at an outdoor market killed four people and wounded 12 in the town of Youssifiyah, just south of Baghdad. Another bomb exploded on a commercial street in the nearby town of Mahmoudiya, killing two people and wounding 10, police officials said.

In the town of Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad, a suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden car into an army checkpoint, killing three soldiers and wounding nine others.

Medical officials confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

Iraqi lawmakers meanwhile approved a 2015 budget of 119 trillion Iraqi dinars (about $102 billion), with a deficit of 25 trillion dinars (about $21.4 billion). The budget calculations are based on an assumed oil price of $56 a barrel.

The approval marks an achievement for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's government as the previous administration never managed to approve the 2014 budget due to political wrangling and the long-running dispute between the federal government and the northern Kurdish region over rights to develop and export oil.

Iraq has the world's fourth largest oil reserves, and oil revenues make up nearly 95 percent of its budget. The price of oil has fallen by about half since June to around $55 per barrel.


Associated Press writer Sinan Salaheddin contributed to this report.

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