Officials: attacks kill 13 people in Iraq

A double car bomb attack took place in Tahrawa, a village inhabited by families from the Shabak ethnic group

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A back-to-back car bomb attack targeting an ethnic minority and clashes in northern Iraq killed at least 13 people on Friday, authorities said.

Police officials said the double car bomb attack took place in the morning in Tahrawa, a village inhabited by families from the Shabak ethnic group. The village is near the city of Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad. Police said 43 people were wounded in the attack.

The Shabak have their own distinct language and belief system, which is an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Most live in villages east of Mosul, the provincial capital of the ethnically mixed Ninevah province, which is predominantly Sunni Muslim.

The Shabak have been targeted in the past by Sunni extremists, who consider them apostates.

Clashes meanwhile broke out in Mosul after gunmen attempted to seize an army ammunition depot. The attack was repelled, but six soldiers were killed and five others were wounded, police said.

Hospital officials confirmed the toll from both incidents. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release details to journalists.

Iraq is currently grappling with the worst surge in unrest since 2006 and 2007, when a wave of sectarian attacks pushed the country to the brink of civil war. The violence spiked following a deadly crackdown by security forces on a Sunni protest camp last year.

According to U.N. figures, 8,868 people were killed in Iraq in 2013. The U.N. mission said that May was the deadliest month so far this year, with 799 Iraqis killed in violence, including 603 civilians.

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