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Twelve die as bomb explodes near Iraqi footballers

A bomb planted near a yard where people were playing football in Iraq killed 12 people today, police and medics told Reuters.

A further 24 people were wounded in the blast in the town of Nahrawan, south of the capital Baghdad.

The violence is part of a trend of increasing militant attacks since the start of the year, which claimed more than 1,000 lives in May alone, making it the deadliest month since the sectarian bloodletting of 2006-7.

In recent days, men playing in local football fixtures and watching matches have been the targets - after spates of attacks on Sunni and Shi'ite mosques, markets and the security forces.