Dozens killed, scores wounded in spate of Iraq attacks

BAGHDAD — As many as 38 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded Monday in multiple attacks across Iraq, including one in which a man detonated a suicide vest near a convoy of coalition vehicles in Mosul, killing up to 16.

The attacks occurred in a week thick with political tension over the upcoming Iraqi elections and a decision last week by the parliament to endorse a U.S.-Iraq security agreement that calls for the withdrawal of American forces by the beginning of 2012.

One of the targets was Gen. Mudhhir al Mawla, an adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki. Mawla suffered serious injuries when a bomb exploded near his Baghdad home. It killed three others.

Iraqi officials said the violence had nothing to do with politics, contending that terrorists continue to look for opportunities to harm people despite the security gains of the past year.

"Terrorists became weaker, much weaker," said Col. Shawkat al Alosi, a spokesman for the Iraqi army ground forces. "Terrorists used to attack in the past, but now they can't attack anymore. The Iraqi security forces now attack terror everywhere, but we need more time to finish it."

Casualty reports from Iraqi and U.S. military sources differed in each incident.

In Mosul, the Americans reported eight deaths and 36 injuries in the suicide attack, excluding the attacker. U.S. officials said that four coalition soldiers were wounded, but didn't say whether they were Americans.

The Iraqis reported 16 dead and 37 wounded in that assault.

Iraqi police said that 15 people were killed and 45 were wounded in two explosions near the gate of a police academy in East Baghdad. U.S. officials initially reported six dead and 20 wounded in that bombing.

Gunmen also shot four people to death in Mosul in separate incidents Monday, police said.

Mosul — where Sunni Muslim Arabs are battling Kurds, the Shiite Muslim-led Iraqi government and al Qaida in Iraq — has been especially violent this year, with two incidents in which people wearing Iraqi military uniforms killed American soldiers.

Police responded to Monday's attacks in Mosul with two raids, arresting 25 people in one of them. It reported that 11 were thought to be affiliated with a car-bomb-making ring.

(Hammoudi is a McClatchy special correspondent.)


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