An Iraqi woman walks past destruction in the street following an explosion the previous day in Baghdad's northern Shiite-majority district of Sadr City on April 17, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE)
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An Iraqi policeman sacrificed himself to shield army recruits from a suicide bomber northeast of Baghdad Thursday, as attacks mainly targeting security personnel killed 21 people nationwide, officials said.The violence comes as Iraq suffers a protracted surge in bloodshed that has killed more than 2,650 people this year despite wide-ranging security operations against militants.Militants killed 13 members of the security forces Thursday in the northern province of Nineveh, one of the most dangerous areas in Iraq.Near the town of Tuz Khurmatu, north of Baghdad, militants who blocked a road and searched cars found three soldiers in a minibus and killed them, police Colonel Mustafa al-Bayati said.Thursday was the deadliest day for the Iraqi army since Feb. 11, when 17 soldiers were killed.
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