Iraq attacks kill at least 21 as violence surges

BAGHDAD — Attacks around Iraq have killed at least 21 people, the latest in a spike of insurgent violence aimed at destabilizing the country and undermining the government, officials said Monday.

The deadliest strike hit the town of Madain, about 12 miles southeast of Baghdad, where a bomb exploded near a youth center, killing six civilians and wounding three, police said.

In the northern city of Mosul, a car bomb exploded in a commercial area, killing one civilian and wounding five others, a police officer said. Another parked car bomb explosion killed five civilians and wounded seven.

Also in Mosul, three militant groups shot and killed a police officer, a provincial spokesman and a civilian in separate attacks.

Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, has been the scene of some of the deadliest unrest outside the capital in recent weeks.

The attacks are part of a spike in violence in recent months that is raising worries Iraq is heading back toward widespread sectarian bloodshed that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

Late Sunday, gunmen stopped a family of a policeman while they were driving home from a wedding party in a remote area near the town of Musayyib, killing the policeman, his parents, wife and two young children, mayor Abdul-Karim Abdul-Jabar said. A police officer confirmed that the attack took place.

Abdul-Jabar said an 8-year child was wounded.

Members of security forces and government officials and their families are the main targets for insurgent groups seeking to undermine government efforts to maintain security. Musayyib is about 40 miles south of Baghdad.

Three health officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information to reporters.

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