Wave of attacks, shootings kill at least 26 in Iraq
A truck bomb went off near the Australian Embassy in Bagdad on Wednesday, and a half-hour later a car bomb hit a police station also in the Iraqi capital, with the blasts killing at least eight people, police and officials said.
Other attacks were reported north and south of the capital. U.S. military officials put the death toll from the day's violence at 26, based on initial field reports. Iraqi authorities said 10 people were killed.
According to The AP, the first explosion rocked the Iraqi capital around 7:00 a.m. and was followed about a half hour later by another blast, in the eastern part of the city. In Australia, a spokeswoman at the Department of Foreign Affairs said no Australian diplomatic staff or troops were wounded.
An Iraqi Interior Ministry source said two people were killed and four were injured near the embassy, which is located in Baghdad's central Jadiriyah neighborhood.
The second blast was caused by another car bomb that targeted a police station in Baghdad's eastern Elwiyah neighborhood, police Lt. Nateq Ahmed said. In this blast at least six people were killed and several others wounded, the Interior Ministry official said.
A third car bombing struck at the main gate to an Iraqi military garrison located in central Baghdad. The U.S. military said two Iraqi army soldiers and two Iraqi civilians were killed in that attack.
The U.S. military also said a car bomb detonated southwest of Baghdad International Airport, killing two Iraqi security guards.
Hours later, another car bomb exploded in northern Baghdad around noon near a bank and a Shiite Muslim mosque. Police said one person was killed and one killed at that bombing.
Elsewhere in the capital, armed men in a car fired on a Baghdad office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, killing one of its members and wounding another, PUK officials said.
Outside the capital, Maj. Gen. Wirya Maarouf, the dean of a police academy in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, escaped an assassination attempt when gunmen opened fire on his convoy in the city of Irbil. One bystander was killed and another wounded, said police Col. Tharwat AbdulKarim.
An Iraqi police officer was killed Wednesday in another car bombing in the largely Shiite city of Hillah south of Baghdad, the Polish military said.
Fresh clashes erupted Wednesday between U.S. troops and Iraqi fighters in the northern city of Mosul. A car bomb exploded beside a U.S. convoy in the eastern part of the city, and two Iraqis were killed when US soldiers opened fire after the blast, witnesses said.
Also, in the city of Kirkuk, two human rights leaders were killed, officials said. Their bodies were found shot in the head and chest after being kidnapped Tuesday, police said.
Meanwhile, American troops opened fire on a car as it approached their checkpoint in northern Iraq, killing two civilians in the vehicle's front seats, the military said Wednesday.
The shooting occurred Tuesday in the city of Tal Afar, about 40 miles west of Mosul.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)