BAGHDAD - Two car bombs exploded near the Iraqi city of Amara on Sunday, killing at least 16 people, police and hospital sources said, as a wave of attacks killed nearly 60 across the country.

Sunni insurgents and al-Qaida have launched a series of major attacks this year in an attempt to stoke the kind of political and sectarian tensions that drove the country near to civil war in 2006-2007.

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