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Blasts Hit South Baghdad As ISIL Advances Toward Ramadi

Members of the Kurdish security forces inspect the site of a suicide bombing attack in Kirkuk on June 25.

Iraqi officials say a suicide bombing and shelling have killed 12 people and wounded at least 23 in southern Baghdad.

The attacks come as government forces on June 25 struggle against an advance by Sunni-led militants north and west of Baghdad.

Led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an Al-Qaeda offshoot, the militants have overrun large parts of five provinces.

RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq reports militants in Anbar Province are positioned on the outskirts of Haditha and have advanced across a Euphrates River bridge to the village of Burwana on the main route to Ramadi.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he will visit Saudi Arabia on June 27 for talks with King Abdullah on the crisis in Iraq and Syria.

Kerry on June 25 warned countries against action that could heighten sectarian divisions after reports of Syrian air strikes against ISIL supply routes in Iraq.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq