Thu, Oct 18, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Bomb blasts target Iraqi security forces

`VERY LETHAL' At least 25 died in a spate of bombings and shootings, despite stringent US-Iraqi military security measures

AP AND AFP , BAGHDAD

A US soldier helps secure the area at the scene where a car bomb exploded in central Baghdad on Tuesday, killing six and injuring 25.

PHOTO: AP

An explosives-laden sewage truck blew up near a police station, a car bomb struck an Iraqi army checkpoint and a roadside bomb killed seven police officers -- attacks that bore the hallmarks of al-Qaeda and showed that extremists can still hit hard despite recent gains by US-led forces.

A US military spokesman on Tuesday said the network is on the run in some areas, but it "obviously remains very lethal."

The bombings and a series of shootings on Tuesday mainly targeted Iraqi security forces and tribal leaders facing internal rivalries but bystanders were also struck as at least 25 people were killed or found dead nationwide.

The deadliest attack occurred early yesterday when seven Iraqi police were killed in a blast near the city of Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad.

One officer was among those killed when the police vehicle was hit by the blast on the main road between Diwaniyah and the town of Afak, military officials said.

On Tuesday a parked car blew up near a gas station across the street from an Iraqi army checkpoint in Baghdad, killing six -- four civilians and two Iraqi soldiers -- and wounding 25 other people.

The bombings came despite stringent security measures as part of a US-Iraqi military operation now in its ninth month and celebrations marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

In the northern city of Mosul, a suicide bomber in a sewage pump truck detonated his payload as he approached a police station.

The blast collapsed most of the building, killing at least four policemen and wounding 75 people, police said.

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