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Mortar attack kills two Iraqi policemen

By Agencies

Mortar shells slammed into a police headquarters in central Iraq on Sunday, killing two policemen and wounding another 10 as well as seven civilians, an official said.


The attack took place in the town of Balad Rooz, about 80 kilometres northeast of Baghdad, said police Brigadier General Khudhayir Al Timimi.


"A series of mortar rounds targeted the headquarters of emergency police in Balad Rooz at midday [9.00am GMT] on Sunday," said Timimi, a police spokesman in the nearby city of Baquba.


He said two policemen were killed and a total of 17 people wounded, 10 of them police.


In separate incidents in west Baghdad, one civilian was killed and two wounded in a drive-by shooting while two army officers, a colonel and a brigadier general, were wounded in a gunfire attack on their car, security officials said.


In other violence, a car bomb struck the convoy of an "Awakening" anti-Qaeda front in the city of Kirkuk, 255 kilometres north of Baghdad, wounding five people, police said.


"Five members of the Awakening forces were wounded in a car bomb explosion that targeted their patrol in western Kirkuk," said police Brigadier General Sarhad Qadir.


Awakening groups, made up mainly of Sunni former insurgents, have been battling Al Qaeda in Iraq with the support of the US military for more than a year and have been the target of attack by various insurgent groups.


In the western city of Ramadi, a truck loaded with explosives was intercepted and five Al Qaeda fighters arrested late Saturday, said police Colonel Ahmed Al Dulaimi. (AFP)