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4 killed in attacks targeting Iraqi forces

Associated Press / May 24, 2011

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KIRKUK, Iraq — Two bomb blasts targeting security forces in different parts of Iraq yesterday killed two people and wounded 20, underscoring Iraq’s instability, though the nation’s prime minister insisted that security forces have been mostly successful in curbing insurgent attacks.

Police said a car bomb killed two people and injured 10 in Kirkuk, a northern city torn by ethnic tensions.

Another bomb in Baghdad wounded 10, including four Iraqi soldiers.

In an attack later yesterday, unidentified gunmen shot and killed two Iraqi soldiers who were on patrol in Mosul, a former Al Qaeda haven in northern Iraq, police and hospital officials said.

In Kirkuk, 180 miles north of the capital, police Colonel Ghazi Mohammed Rashid said a car exploded as a security patrol was driving by. The blast killed two people who happened to be near the car when it blew up. Five police officers were among the 10 wounded.

Kirkuk has long been plagued by disputes among Arabs, Kurds, and Turkomen over land and oil fields. A triple bombing in the city last week killed 27 people and injured 60.

A few hours later, the Baghdad car bomb exploded next to an army patrol in the northern Shi’ite neighborhood of Kazimiyah. A police officer and doctor at Kazimiyah hospital said six bystanders and four soldiers were wounded. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Violence has dropped dramatically across Iraq compared with a few years ago, but analysts say it could be decades before the nation is stable.

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