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Wave of violence kills at least 24 people in Iraq on Monday
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08:20, July 24, 2007

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A new wave of suicide attacks and car bombings across Iraq killed at least 24 people and wounded some 60 others on Monday, while Baghdad is preparing to host a second round of talks between the U.S. and Iran on Iraqi security.

A series of car bombings rocked Baghdad in the day, killing at least 17 Iraqis and wounding 57 others, shaping a setback in the five-month U.S. and Iraqi security plan which aimed at curbing insurgency and sectarian violence.

Two car bomb explosions ripped through Baghdad's central neighborhood of Karradah in a quick succession, killing at least 10 people and wounding 38 others.

One of the car bombs was parking near a police headquarters in Karradah neighborhood and the other was near a market in the same neighborhood.

Around midday, a third car bomb struck a police patrol near the Sahat al-Wathiq square in the same neighborhood on the east side of the Tigris River, killing two people and wounding six others, including three policemen.

The explosion damaged several nearby civilian cars and buildings.

Another car bomb went off in the afternoon near an office affiliated to the Iraqi Ministry of Housing in Karradat Mariam district, killing four people and wounding six others.

The explosion occurred just about 400 meters away from an entrance to the Green Zone, a vast area on the west bank of the Tigris River which houses the Iraqi government offices and foreign embassies, including the U.S. embassy.

Earlier in the day, an explosive charge inside a minivan detonated in the morning in the Kifah Street in Baghdad's neighborhood of Fadhel, killing a passenger and wounding seven more.

The Kifah thoroughfare in the Sunni enclave of Fadhel surrounded with Shiite neighborhoods has been the scene of sectarian violence.

In Ramadi, a woman wearing an explosive-belt blew herself up in the al-Shaheed Nawfal police checkpoint in the city of Ramadi and killed all the seven policemen in the site.

The same checkpoint was the target of another suicide attack on Sunday night when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into the checkpoint and blew it up, wounding three policemen.

In addition, the Iraqi police said that its patrols picked up 24 unidentified bodies from Baghdad's streets during the past 24 hours.

The bullet-riddled bodies were bound, blindfolded, showing signs of torture, they said.

Also on Monday, the U.S. military said that three of its soldiers were killed and two others wounded in separate roadside bomb attacks across the country in the past few days.

The latest deaths bring the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq to more than 3,630 since the outbreak of Iraq war in 2003, according to media count based on Pentagon figures.

The latest wave of violence came as the Iraqi capital prepared to host a second round of talks on Tuesday to discuss the deteriorating security situation in Iraq.

"Iraq will host the second round of U.S.-Iranian talks on the 24th of this month," Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters on Sunday.

Zebari also expected that the upcoming talks between the two rivals, following up on the first meeting in May, could achieve " tangible results".

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker met his Iranian counterpart Hassan Kazemi Qomi on May 28 in Baghdad in an effort to find solutions for Iraqi security problems. However, the landmark meeting ended without substantial achievements.

The U.S. army has frequently accused Iran of arming and training Shiite militia in Iraq, including providing materials of sophisticated armored-piercing bombs. Iran has denied the claims.

Source: Xinhua



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