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Car bomb outside coffee shop kills 2, wounds 11 in Baghdad

From Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
September 1, 2012 -- Updated 2023 GMT (0423 HKT)
An Iraqi security officer holds a bomb detector device equipped of a silver antenna at a checkpoint in al-Saadun street in central Baghdad.
An Iraqi security officer holds a bomb detector device equipped of a silver antenna at a checkpoint in al-Saadun street in central Baghdad.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The explosion happened Saturday night, police say
  • Iraq's Interior Ministry says 164 died in August; CNN estimates over 270 deaths
  • The ministry reported 325 deaths in July

Baghdad (CNN) -- A car bomb exploded outside a Baghdad coffee shop Saturday, killing two people and wounding 11 others, police in the Iraqi capital said.

The blast happened around 9 p.m. (2 p.m. ET) in the al-Shurta al-Rabaa neighborhood, a predominantly Shiite section of southwestern Baghdad.

With those deaths, the Iraqi Interior Ministry announced Sunday that 164 people had been killed throughout the country in August. This figure incorporates information from Iraq's interior, defense and health ministries.

A CNN tally indicates that more than 270 people died last month in violence throughout Iraq, however.

Iraq announces 21 people executed in one day

Official government death tolls have historically been lower than unofficial figures and daily tallies from media and other organizations.

Saturday's bombing caps a particularly turbulent few months in the Middle Eastern nation.

Violence had generally dropped in Iraq in recent years compared with the middle of the past decade, when Sunni-Shiite conflict raged during the height of the Iraq war.

However, it hit a nearly two-year peak in July with 325 deaths reported, the Interior Ministry has said. That was the deadliest single month since August 2010, when the toll was 426, the ministry said. U.S. troops completed their withdrawal from Iraq in December.

The most recent violence includes a wave of shootings and bombings August 16 that killed more than 80 people and wounded more than 270 across the country.

Insurgents carried out attacks in Baghdad and Kirkuk, Salaheddin, Anbar, Wasit and Diyala provinces, according to police and Interior Ministry officials.

The violence came in the final days of the holy month of Ramadan, when Iraqis traditionally fill shops and markets to prepare for the Eid feast.

Iraqi authorities blamed al Qaeda for what they describe as coordinated assaults targeting mostly Shiite areas.

Wave of violence in Iraq claims more than 80 lives

CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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