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Bombing on eve of anniversary of fall of Baghdad

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Bombing on eve of anniversary of fall of Baghdad
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A car bomb has killed up to 17 people and wounded more than two dozen in Mahmudiya in Iraq.

The explosion left a crater about one and a half meters deep.

It demolished a three-storey building, as well as smaller shops.

A hospital official said there are bodies still buried in the rubble.

The government has said it will spread its security offensive in the capital, to other embattled cities, targetted in a spate of recent attacks.

Meanwhile in Najaf, supporters of Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have begun preparing for a mass protest on Monday.

The cleric has called the rally to mark the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad in the US-led invasion.

Around one million people are expected to take part and unite in a call for coalition troops to leave the country.

The authorities are imposing a 24-hour vehicle ban in Baghdad on Monday afternoon, to prevent car bombing attacks on the anniversary.