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Iraqi officials: Simultaneous bomb explosions kill at least 5 people at Baghdad market

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Masked anti-government gunmen inspect blood during clashes with Iraqi security forces in Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq. Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. The situation deteriorated significantly in late December, when security forces dismantled a protest camp near the Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi. To defuse tensions, security forces withdrew from Ramadi and the nearby city of Fallujah. Al-Qaida-linked militants promptly took over parts of Ramadi and the center of Fallujah. Since then, the government and allied tribes have been struggling to wrest control of the cities back from the militants. Al-Qaida-led militants are battling for control of mainly Sunni areas to the west of the Iraqi capital in a key test of the Shiite-led government's ability to maintain security in the country more than two years after the withdrawal of U.S. troops. (AP Photo)The Associated Press

Iraqi officials say simultaneous bomb blasts at a Baghdad market have killed at least five people.

A police officer says two bombs, hidden in clothing stalls in the capital's al-Arabi wholesale market, went off simultaneously on Thursday morning. The officer says the explosions also wounded 15 people.

A medical official confirmed the causality figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to media.

Public places such as cafes, restaurants, mosques and markets are favorite targets for militants in Iraq seeking to undermine the Shiite led-government efforts to maintain security nationwide.

Thursdays' bombings took place as Iraqi security forces and allied Sunni tribal militias are battling al-Qaida-linked militants who have seized significant areas in the country's west since late December.