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Attacks in Iraq kill 3 soldiers, 5 civilians

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QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA | April 5, 2013 02:15 PM EST | AP

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BAGHDAD — A series of bombs exploded Friday in Iraq, killing eight people in attacks that targeted members of both Sunni and Shiite Muslim sects, police said.

In the first incident, attackers detonated a bomb as an army vehicle was traveling through the western Baghdad neighborhood of Abu Ghraib, killing three soldiers.

Later, a bomb exploded near a vegetable stand, killing three civilians and wounding 15 in the Shiite-dominated city of Hillah, 95 kilometers (60 miles) south of Baghdad.

Soon after Friday prayers in the city of Baqouba, 60 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded as worshippers left a Sunni mosque, killing two and wounding a dozen people.

Health officials confirmed the casualties. All spoke anonymously because they were not allowed to brief reporters.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility, but some of the attacks were typical of al-Qaida's Iraq branch, the Islamic State of Iraq. The militant Sunni group frequently uses car bombs, suicide bombers and coordinated blasts to target Shiites and those working with the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

It was not immediately clear who targeted the Sunni mosque.