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Jan 31, 2:16 PM EST

Officials say bombings kill 14 people around Iraq's capital


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AP Photo/Hadi Mizban
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BAGHDAD (AP) -- A series of bombings in and around the Iraqi capital killed 14 people Saturday and a senior Kurdish commander died in clashes with Islamic State militants in northern Iraq.

A bomb exploded near a sheep market Saturday morning in the town of Madain, about 20 kilometers (14 miles) southeast of Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 11, police officials said.

A second blast struck near a string of car repair shops in central Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 10.

Authorities said another explosion also struck an army patrol in the town of Taji, just north of Baghdad, killing two soldiers and wounding four.

At night, a bomb blast near a cafe in Baghdad's district of Ameen killed two people and wounded nine others.

Also, police said a bomb attached to a minibus exploded in Baghdad's southeastern district of Zafaraniya, killing three passengers and wounding six others.

Medics confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

Meanwhile, two Kurdish security officers said Saturday that Kurdish Brig. Gen. Hussein Mansour was killed Friday night by a sniper shot near the oil rich city of Kirkuk during clashes between IS fighters and Kurdish security forces, known as peshmerga.

The two officials said that Mansour has just replaced Brig. Gen. Shirko Fatih, who was killed early Friday after IS militants attacked peshmerga positions near Kirkuk.

Iraq is facing its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops. Militants from the Islamic State group now control about a third of the country. They are being resisted by a combined force of Iraqi soldiers, Kurdish peshmerga, and volunteer Shiite militiamen, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

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Associated Press writers Murtada Faraj in Baghdad and Imad Matti in Kirkuk, Iraq contributed to this report.

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