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Suicide bombers crash van into mosque

Attacks rock Baghdad

From Mohammed Tawfeeq and Faris Qasira
CNN

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A vehicle is charred after suicide bombers struck outside a Baghdad mosque Friday.
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At least 14 at a Baghdad mosque and 11 police officers die in separate attacks. CNN's Karl Penhaul reports.

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Four suicide bombers drove a minibus loaded with explosives into a northern Baghdad Shiite mosque early Friday, killing 14 civilians, many who had gathered for morning prayers, police said.

The bombing was part of a wave of simultaneous attacks in Baghdad that killed 25 people, including 11 Iraqi police officers killed in an attack on their station, in addition to the bombers.

Dr. Sabah Kadhim, senior adviser to Iraq's minister of the interior, said 19 civilians were wounded in the mosque attack in the Sunni al-Adhamiya neighborhood.

About the same time as the bombing, insurgents fired five rockets at the al-Adhamiyah police station, but no injuries were reported.

Another Baghdad police station came under attack.

An Iraqi police officer from al-Bayaa police station in the al-Amil district said more than 20 insurgents, driving 11 vehicles, stormed the station, carrying rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. Eleven Iraqi police officers were killed and five others wounded.

The insurgents also freed more than 20 prisoners in a cell at the police station, which straddles the road to the Baghdad airport. The road has become one of the city's bloodiest locations.

Fighting flares again in Mosul

In Mosul, in what is the most significant fighting in weeks, U.S. and Iraqi troops killed at least 12 insurgents in a firefight Friday, the U.S. military said.

The U.S. military said the battle started when a U.S. patrol in western Mosul came under sustained fire in a carefully planned attack.

One of the bases insurgents used was a mosque, where the U.S. military said there were about 35 to 40 insurgents.

Last month, insurgents launched attacks against police stations and government offices in Mosul around the same time the U.S.-led offensive in Falluja took place.

Meanwhile, U.S. and Iraqi forces detained 53 suspected insurgents in northern Iraq, authorities said Friday.

A major cordon and search operation was conducted by several units, including the Iraqi national guard, on Thursday in the village of al-Bi'aj, located 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) east of the Syrian border, U.S. military officials said.

Al-Bi'aj is a suspected staging area for insurgent fighters in northern Iraq and foreign fighters coming from Syria.

During that operation, 46 people were detained.

Two other units detained seven people suspected of planning and conducting car bomb attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces. Those detentions came during an operation in a village northeast of Mosul, military officials said.

Other developments

  • A Task Force Baghdad soldier was killed when a roadside bomb detonated about 4 p.m. in northern Baghdad on Friday. Three other soldiers were wounded in the attack. At 9:50 a.m., insurgents using a bomb attacked a combat patrol near Kirkuk, killing a Task Force Danger soldier and wounding two other soldiers.
  • Ukraine's parliament Friday passed a measure demanding that President Leonid Kuchma remove the country's nearly 1,700 troops from Iraq. The move comes as the country's high court deliberates to resolve an election dispute over who will replace the outgoing president. The measure to remove the troops had been expected to pass.
  • The nine-day offensive in northern Babil province called Operation Plymouth Rock has ended, the Marines said Friday. It has resulted in the capture of 204 suspected militants and the discovery of 11 arms caches in the region located south of Baghdad.
  • CNN's Jamie McIntyre, Nic Robertson, Jane Arraf, Kasra Naji, Cal Perry and Kianne Sadeq contributed to this report.


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