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Suicide attack in Baghdad cafe kills 12 people, injures 38

Iraqi officials say an overnight suicide attack inside a cafe in Baghdad has killed at least 12 people and wounded 38.

Two police officers said on Thursday that the bomber set off his explosives-laden belt among customers who were watching a football game on a cafe television in the western Washash neighborhood the night before.

A medical official confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.

Iraq has been struck by a surge in violence unseen since 2008, relentless attacks that have become the Shiite-led government's most serious challenge.

Public places such as cafes, restaurants, mosques and markets are favorite targets for militants seeking to undermine the government's efforts to maintain security nationwide.