At least 17 people have been killed and 30 wounded in Iraq after a series of car bomb blasts, according to reports. The explosions mainly targeted police checkpoints and no-one has yet claimed responsibility. The most deadly attacks were in Taji, about 12 miles north of Baghdad, where bombs in three parked cars killed eight and injured 22. A suicide bomber in a car blew himself up in the city of Kut, 95 miles southeast of the capital, killing four policemen, officers and local officials said. In Baghdad, a car bomb killed two people in a northwestern district. Another blast near a public market in Khan Bani Saad, 20 miles northeast of the capital, killed one civilian and wounded several policemen. Two more policemen died when a car bomb went off in the town of Balad Ruz, 55 miles northeast of Baghdad. The violence comes after 102 prisoners, including 47 convicted members of al Qaeda affiliate the Islamic State of Iraq, escaped from a prison in Tikrit, after a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb outside the prison onThursday. The jail was then attacked by gunmen. Sixteen security force personnel were killed in clashes. The interior ministry said four of the fugitives had been killed and 23 captured, as Iraqi forces continue to hunt for the others. Unrest in Iraq has eased since its height in 2006-2007 when sectarian fighting killed thousands of people. But Sunni Islamists and the al Qaeda affiliate still launch regular attacks, seeking to undermine the Shi'ite-led government.
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