June 23, 2009 in Nation/World

Dozens of Iraqis killed in bombings, shootings

Attacks come ahead of U.S. withdrawal
Kim Gamel Associated Press
Associated Press photo

A minibus driver surveys the damage to his vehicle after a roadside bombing in Baghdad, Iraq, on Monday.
(Full-size photo)

BAGHDAD – Bombings and shootings killed more than 30 people across Iraq on Monday, including high school students on their way to final exams, part of a new round of violence ahead of next week’s deadline for U.S. troops to withdraw from urban areas.

The attacks pushed the three-day Iraqi death toll over 100, shattering a recent lull and adding fresh doubt to the ability of government forces to protect people without U.S. soldiers by their sides. American combat troops have already begun moving from inner-city outposts to large bases outside Baghdad and other cities.

Monday’s violence mainly struck Shiite neighborhoods in the Baghdad area, starting with a roadside bombing of a minibus carrying high school students from Sadr City to their final exams. Police said the attack killed at least three students and wounded 13 people.

A bomb planted under a car also exploded on a road leading to a checkpoint that controls access to a bridge into Baghdad’s central Green Zone, killing at least five people and wounding 20, according to police and hospital officials.

A roadside bomb later targeted a police patrol in another mainly Shiite district in eastern Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 25, police said.

Hours later, a parked motorcycle loaded with explosives blew up in an open-air public market in an impoverished, predominantly Shiite area northeast of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 22, police and hospital officials said.

A suicide car bomber also targeted the mayor’s offices in Abu Ghraib, a predominantly Sunni district west of Baghdad, killing seven civilians, police said.

North of the capital and close to the Iranian border, a roadside bomb struck an Iraqi army patrol, killing three Iraqi soldiers near Khanaqin, according to the security headquarters in Diyala province.

Gunmen also killed at least seven people in separate attacks in the northern city of Mosul, including a woman and four Iraqi security forces, according to separate police reports.

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