Car bomb in N. Iraq kills 18, wounds 25: police

ASE23441.jpgMOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) – A car bomb in a vegetable market in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar killed 18 people and wounded 25 on Friday, police said.

The town, 420 km (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, is near the city of Mosul, where U.S.-backed Iraqi troops have cracked down on al Qaeda Sunni Arab militants in recent months.

The attack was the biggest since suicide bombers struck Shi’ite pilgrims in Baghdad and a protest by Kurds in Kirkuk last month, killing nearly 60 people in total.

Iraq has become far less violent over the past year, but U.S. and Iraqi authorities say al Qaeda retains the capability to set off bombs killing large numbers of people.

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