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Deadliest Bomb Strikes in Months Kill 78 in Iraq

Two suicide bomb explosions — one in central Baghdad and the other in Diyala province — killed at least 78 people on Thursday, according to the Associated Press, marking the worst day of violence in over a year.

AP via Google News:

The toll — at least 31 dead in Baghdad and 47 to the north in Diyala province — follows a series of high-profile attacks this month blamed on Sunni insurgents. The violence highlights potential security gaps as Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead role from U.S. forces in protecting Baghdad and key areas around the capital.

The insurgent push is still nowhere near the scale of violence in past years, but it has undermined confidence that Iraq’s security gains were on solid footing at a time when the U.S. military is shifting its focus and resources to Afghanistan.

Thursday’s attacks happened as American soldiers who specialize in clearing bombs from roads boarded a plane from Iraq to the Taliban heartland in southern Afghanistan, part of the largest movement of personnel and equipment between the two war fronts.

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