Suicide bomber kills 15 in north Iraq

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A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle in a village in northern Iraq on Thursday, killing 15 people, police and a doctor said.

The blast hit a residential area of al-Muwaffaqiyah, a village east of Mosul that is mainly populated by members of the small Shabak minority.

The 30,000-strong Shabak community mostly lives near Iraq’s border with Turkey.

They speak a distinct language and largely follow a faith that is a blend of Shiite Islam and local beliefs, and are periodically targeted in attacks by militants.

Violence in Iraq has reached a level not seen since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal sectarian conflict.

The surge in violence, which has included waves of sectarian attacks, has raised fears of a relapse into the intense sectarian bloodshed that killed tens of thousands of people in 2006-2007.

With the latest attack, more than 330 people have been killed so far this month, and over 5,000 since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.

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