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Iraq bombing kills officer, injures three

A US and Iraqi soldier took part in a joint operation yesterday in Jalawla, a town in Diyala Province about 70 miles northeast of Baghdad. A US and Iraqi soldier took part in a joint operation yesterday in Jalawla, a town in Diyala Province about 70 miles northeast of Baghdad. (Saad Shalash/ Reuters)
Associated Press / May 18, 2009
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BAGHDAD - A car bomb went off yesterday near the governor's residence in the turbulent northern city of Mosul, killing a policeman and wounding three civilians, hours after a lone gunman shot dead a prison officer in the city center, according to police officials.

It was not immediately clear whether Atheel al-Nujeifi, governor of Ninevah Province, was the target of the bomb.

He was not at his residence in the Dawasa neighborhood at the time of the blast, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to share the information with the media.

The bomb was in a car parked about 100 yards away from his home, suggesting it was meant to be detonated when the governor's convoy drove past, a tactic widely used by Iraqi insurgents.

The officials said a police officer was killed in the blast and three civilians were wounded.

Earlier yesterday, a gunman killed an off-duty prison officer in Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad. A police statement said the victim was a first lieutenant in his 20s who served at Badoosh prison on the city's outskirts. The gunman got out of a car, opened fire on the officer, and then fled, it said.

The statement from the provincial police command did not give a motive for the shooting.

The car bomb and the shooting underline the precarious security situation in Mosul, which has yet to witness the reduction in violence seen in most other parts of the country.

The surprise victory by a local party led by Nujeifi, a Sunni Arab, in January's provincial elections added to tensions in Ninevah, where Mosul is the capital. His calls for an end to what he sees as Kurdish interference in the province has stoked tension between the province's Arab majority and its large Kurdish minority.

The party - the National Hedba Gathering - was formed in 2006 with the avowed goal of ending the rule of Kurdish parties.

Some 2,000 Kurds, meanwhile, staged a demonstration in Sheekhan, an area about 30 miles east of Mosul, to demand its annexation to the self-ruled Kurdish region.

In Baghdad, a bomb hidden in a bag exploded last night near a small cafe in a Shi'ite area of the Dora neighborhood, killing four people and wounding 12, a police officer said.