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Iraqi officials: Overnight attacks in 2 Iraqi cities kill at least 16 people, wound 39

Officials say overnight attacks in two Iraqi cities have killed at least 16 people as authorities struggle to stop the Sunni militants' blitz offensive.

A police officer said on Monday that mortar rounds rained down on Shiite neighborhoods in the town Mahmoudiya late Sunday night, killing 11 civilians and wounding 31. The mixed Shiite-Sunni town is about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad.

He says a roadside bomb struck an army patrol in Baghdad's western suburb of Abu Ghraib, killing two soldiers and three volunteers who took up arms following the Sunni militant push across Iraq in recent weeks. Eighth people were wounded in that attack.

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