20 killed in twin blasts in north of Baghdad: Security official

Two bombs killed eight people and wounded 27 at a market in Iraq's northern Diyala province on Friday, shortly before the scheduled release of final preliminary parliamentary vote totals.

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Twenty people were killed and 55 wounded today in twin blasts in the town of Khales, in Diyala province north of the Iraqi capital, a security official said.

Among the wounded were women and children, said the official from Baquba Operations Command, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Some of the wounded were transported to a hospital in the provincial capital of Baquba, the official added.

The blasts struck at around 0615 pm (1515 GMT) in front of a cafe and a restaurant in central Khales, around 65 kilometres northeast of Baghdad and near Diyala's provincial capital of Baquba.

The explosions came shortly before Iraq's national election commission was due to announce full results from the country's hotly-contested March 7 parliamentary election. 

Violence has dropped dramatically across Iraq since its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common, especially in Baghdad and the restive northern city of Mosul.

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