Bombs Kill More Than 30 in Baghdad, Mosul

BAGHDAD (AP) -- A series of bombs struck U.S. and Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul on Monday, killing at least 32 people and wounding dozens more, Iraqi officials said.

The bloody attacks were a grim reminder of the dangers facing Iraqis as they try to take over their own security. The Iraqi parliament last week approved a security pact with the United States that would let the Americans stay in Iraq for three more years to help maintain stability.

At least 16 people were killed and 46 wounded in a nearly simultaneous double bombing near a police academy in eastern Baghdad.

A suicide attacker detonated his explosives vest packed with ball bearings at the entrance to the academy, then a car bomb exploded about 150 yards away, apparently aimed at those responding to the initial blast, the U.S. military said.

The blasts occurred within minutes of each other on Palestine Street, according to police and witnesses.

Bloodied police uniforms and a military boot left by victims were scattered with the crumpled metal hulk of the car bomb on the charred street in the aftermath of the bombing, according to Associated Press Television News footage.

The attacker apparently was a teenage boy whose head was taken to a local hospital, a police officer said. An AP photographer saw the head and confirmed it appeared to be a teenage boy.

Those killed included five policemen and 11 recruits, while the wounded included 11 policemen and 35 recruits, according to police and hospital officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.

The U.S. military initially said the death toll appeared to be about 20 but later said reports indicated six people were killed and 20 wounded.

In Mosul, a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives as a joint U.S.-Iraqi convoy drove by in a crowded commercial area, a police officer said. The officer also declined to be identified for the same reason.

At least 15 people - most civilians - were killed and 30 wounded in that attack, the officer said. An official at the morgue where the bodies were taken confirmed the death toll.

The U.S. military said initial reports show eight Iraqi civilians were killed in Monday's attack. It says two U.S. soldiers and 30 Iraqis were wounded.

Conflicting casualty tolls are common in the chaotic aftermath of bombings in Iraq.

Earlier Monday, a senior Defense Ministry official was wounded in a roadside bomb attack that killed one of his bodyguards, Iraqi military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said.

The blast occurred in the Sulaikh neighborhood, a mainly Sunni area in northern Baghdad.

The wounded official, Maj. Gen. Mudhir al-Mola, is in charge of affairs related to the Sunni guards known as the Sons of Iraq who have joined forces with U.S. troops against al-Qaida in Iraq, according to al-Moussawi.

The move is considered a key factor in the overall decline in Iraq violence.

The Shiite-led government assumed responsibility for the Sunnis in Baghdad this fall.

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Associated Press writer Sameer N. Yacoub contributed to this report.

© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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