Spate of deadly attacks kill 64 Iraqis ahead of U.S. troops pullout deadline

19:09, August 26, 2010      

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All together 64 people were killed and 274 others wounded in a series of bomb attacks, including suicide car bombings, targeting Iraqi police across the country on Wednesday, a day after the U.S. military announced its troops would drop to below 50,000 ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline for them to end combat operations.

In Baghdad, up to 15 people were killed and 58 wounded when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into the entrance of a police station in Qahira neighborhood in north the capital, an Interior Ministry source said.

The blast which took place around 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) destroyed parts of the police station and several nearby buildings, the source said.

Earlier, the source put the toll at 11 killed and 34 wounded.

Also in Baghdad, a booby-trapped car parking near the Adan Square at the entrance of the holy Shiite district of Kadhimiya detonated, killing three people and wounding 12 others, the police said.

In south the capital, two policemen were killed and another wounded when unidentified gunmen in their car opened fire on a police checkpoint in the al-Amil neighborhood, the source said.

In Kut, the capital city of Wasit province, at least 23 people were killed and up to 86 others wounded when an explosive-packed vehicle parking in front of the city police headquarters was detonated at about 10:00 a.m. (0700 GMT), destroying the headquarters' building and a nearby government building, the local police said.

Earlier, the source put the toll at 23 killed and 60 wounded.

The powerful blast totally collapsed the police building and many people were buried under debris, the source said, adding that severe damages hit the nearby buildings.

Iraqi security forces sealed off the scene while the city authorities blocked Kut City, located 170 km southeast of Baghdad.

In Iraq's western Anbar province, a total of nine people were killed and 19 wounded in four incidents. one car bomb apparently detonated prematurely while moving in central Anbar's provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, killing two gunmen inside the car, the provincial police source said.

Another car bomb detonated in Ramadi, killing three people and wounded 13 others, the source said.

Also in the province, a suicide car bomber struck an Iraqi army patrol in the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, killing a soldier and a civilian and wounding seven people, including two soldiers, the police said.

In a separate incident in Fallujah, two gunmen were killed while they were planting a roadside bomb in the city, he said.

In Iraq's eastern Diyala province, a suicide bomber struck the office in the town of Maqdadiyah, some 100 km northeast of Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 17 others, 12 of them were policemen and office employees, a provincial police source said.

Another bomb detonated outside a hospital some 100 meters away from the government office and wounded six people, the source said, adding that the second blast was designed to hit the wounded victims of the suicide attack and the security forces which will arrive at the scene after the first blast.

Also in the province, five roadside bombs targeted the Iraqi police in two towns near the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, killing a policeman and two civilians and wounding 12 people, including five policemen, the source said.

In Basra, some 550 km south of Baghdad, a booby-trapped car at a parking lot near the al-Ashar police station near the crowded Um al-Broum Square in central the city, detonated in the morning, killing one person and wounding at least ten people, the police said.

Some 15 police vehicles and civilian cars were seen destroyed or charred by the blast, he said.

Elsewhere, a suicide car bomber struck a police checkpoint in the city of Karbala, some 110 km south of Baghdad, killing a policeman and wounding 29 people, the police said.

In Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk, a car bomb went off in al- Domiz neighborhood targeted a police patrol, killing a civilian and wounding eight others, a local police source said.

In Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, a suicide car bomber struck an Iraqi army base, wounding three soldiers, while another car bomb detonated in western the city killed three civilians and wounding 13 others, a local police source said.

Wednesday's wave of violence came a day after the U.S. military said that its troops would be reduced to below 50,000, ahead of the deadline set by U.S. President Barack Obama for his troops to end combat operations in Iraq. Washington said that the remaining U.S. troops will remain in Iraq to conduct support and training missions.

Five months after the war-torn country held its parliamentary elections on March 7, violence and sporadic high-profile attacks are still common in Iraqi cities which shaped a setback to the Iraqi government's efforts to restore normality.



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