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Bombs at Sunni funeral in Iraq kill 14

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SAMEER N. YACOUB | September 23, 2013 04:49 PM EST | AP

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BAGHDAD — A double bombing targeting Sunni mourners in Baghdad killed 14 people on Monday, the third day in a row in which funerals have been attacked amid a wave of bloodshed across Iraq, officials said.

Police say back-to-back blasts tore through a tent set up for the funeral of one of four people killed two days before when gunmen shot up a store selling liquor in the Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah. A security official said another 35 were wounded in the bombing.

Monday's attack came only one day after a suicide bombing of another Sunni funeral in Baghdad that left 16 dead. On Saturday, a double suicide attack on a Shiite funeral killed 72 mourners.

Attacks on Shiite civilian targets – including funerals – are a hallmark of al-Qaida's Iraq branch. But it was not clear if the two attacks on Sunnis were also the work of al-Qaida, which has been known to target Sunni rivals, or part of a growing number of apparent reprisal attacks by Shiites. The Azamiyah shooting was believed to be carried out by hard-line Sunni militants, who are most likely to attack liquor stores in Sunni areas.

More than 4,000 people have been killed between April and August, a level of carnage not seen since the country was on the brink of civil war in 2004-08. The reemergence of tit-for-tat retaliatory killings has raised fears that Iraq may be returning to that cycle of violence.

Earlier in the day, police said gunmen broke into the home of a Shiite family in a Sunni-dominated area south of Baghdad and killed three members of a family.

Two police officers say the militants attacked the house in the town of Youssifiyah early on Monday morning, killing the parents and their 16-year-old son. Two other children, aged 12 and 14 years, were wounded.

Youssifiyah is 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Baghdad.

Medical officials confirmed the figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

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Associated Press writer Sinan Salaheddin contributed to this report.