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Basra car bombing causes carnage

A car bomb has exploded in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.
There are reports that at least 20 people have been killed and many injured in the attack.

The blast happened at about 2030 local time (1730 GMT), in a commercial area of the British-controlled city containing many shops and restaurants.

Although car bombings are common in central and northern Iraq, the south, predominantly populated by Shias, has been comparatively peaceful.

However, there has been a recent upsurge in attacks in the region.

Rising violence

The attack appeared to have targeted local police vehicles, two of which were destroyed.

Six police officers were reported to be among the dead.

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