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Attacks in Iraq ahead of religious ritual kill 21

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SINAN SALAHEDDIN | November 13, 2013 06:13 AM EST | AP

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BAGHDAD (AP) — Officials in Iraq say attacks against Shiites and police ahead of a religious ritual have killed at least 21 people.

Police say Wednesday's deadliest two attacks were in the eastern city of Baqouba, where militants triggered three bombs targeting Shiites preparing for the Ashoura ritual marking the death of a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. They say that attack killed eight people, as did another suicide car bombing at a police checkpoint outside the northern city of Tikriy.

Police say four people also were killed when militants detonated bombs near homes for police officers west of Baghdad. Police say another officer was killed in a separate bombing.

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