String of attacks targeting police kills 13 in Iraq as number of US troops falls below 50,000

By Sameer N. Yacoub, AP
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

13 dead in string of attacks in Iraq

BAGHDAD — A string of attacks targeting Iraqi security forces killed 13 people and left scores wounded on Wednesday, police and hospital officials said.

The deadliest attack occurred in north Baghdad where a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden car in a parking lot behind a police station, killing 11 people, including four policemen and seven civilians. Twenty-one people were wounded in the attack, police and hospital officials said.

There were no claims of responsibility, but the scale and reach of the violence, which comes a day after the number of U.S. troops fell below 50,000, underscored insurgent efforts to show their relevance as the American military presence in Iraq shrinks.

In the northern city of Kirkuk, a car bomb killed one policeman and wounded eight more, while gunmen in west Baghdad shot dead another policeman on patrol. Three policemen were wounded in that attack, police and hospital officials said.

While violence has subsided significantly since the height of the sectarian bloodshed in 2006 and 2007, militants continue to target members of Iraq’s nascent security forces, undermining their ability to defend the country as the U.S. ends combat operations in the country.

In addition to daily attacks on Iraq’s police and army, the number of criminal attacks has also grown in the past weeks.

In Baghdad in Wednesday, a bomb exploded near a bank in the central district of Karradah, wounding six people waiting to collect their pensions, police said.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Recent bank robberies and attacks on gold jewelers and money changers across Iraq have raised suspicions al-Qaida-linked insurgents are seeking to replenish their coffers for attacks

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