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London appalled by Iraqi violence

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said London condemned a series of attacks in Iraq on Monday. UPI/Monika Graff | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4ad82a8191c3d12086f72c68f823b9b1/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said London condemned a series of attacks in Iraq on Monday. UPI/Monika Graff | License Photo

LONDON, July 23 (UPI) -- An increase in violence in and around Baghdad shows anti-government groups in the country have "an appalling disregard" for life, the British government said.

A series of attacks Monday in Iraq left at least 97 people dead and another 300 injured. Authorities in Baghdad said insurgents detonated car bombs, stormed military bases and attacked checkpoints in the bloodiest attacks on the year.

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British Foreign Secretary William Hague said London condemned the attacks in the strongest possible terms.

"Coming at the start of the holy month of Ramadan, a time of peaceful reflection and prayer, these attacks demonstrate an appalling disregard for human life," he said in a statement.

The attacks Monday coincided with the third day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. An audio message attributed to al-Qaida in Iraq, meanwhile, called for a new offensive in the country, The New York Times reported.

The British government is awaiting a report from an inquiry examining its role in the Iraq war.

A final report from the inquiry, led by John Chilcot, is expected by the middle of next year.

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