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Bomb kills Iraqi assembly member

Police officer killed in blast outside hospital


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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A prominent Shiite tribal leader who is a member of Iraq's National Assembly has been killed in a suicide bomb attack in northern Baghdad, police said.

Sheikh Dhari Ali Al-Fayadh, three of his bodyguards and his son were killed Tuesday morning when a suicide car bomber slammed into his convoy in the neighborhood of Rashdiya, police said.

He is the second member of Iraq's parliament to be assassinated since the Shiite and Kurdish-led government took office two months ago.

Also on Tuesday, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a security post outside the main entrance to Musayab General Hospital, killing an Iraqi policeman and wounding 17 people.

Two Task Force Liberty soldiers died in attacks Tuesday north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. One was killed in a suicide car bomb near Balad and the second was killed in a vehicle bombing west of Tikrit. The attacks bring the U.S. death toll to 1,741.

Insurgent gunmen killed nine people in a string of drive-by shootings, including four police officers and two firefighters. A prominent city council member from the western Baghdad neighborhood of Khadra also was killed.

Gunmen also killed a policeman and an interpreter Tuesday afternoon in western Baghdad's Yarmouk Square, emergency police told CNN.

The police officer was shot around 5 p.m. by gunmen in an abandoned building. Emergency police received the report and headed to the scene, escorted by U.S. troops. When they arrived, the unknown gunmen again opened fire. An Iraqi working as an interpreter for the U.S. Army was killed, police said.

The latest reports of fatalities come one year after the United States handed over power to Iraqi officials.

President Bush is set to address the American people about Iraq on Tuesday night as polls show declining support for the war. (Full story)

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll reports only 37 percent of the U.S. public believes he has a clear plan for the Iraq war. (Full story)

Meanwhile, 53 percent of Americans polled say they believe it was a mistake to send U.S. troops into Iraq.

Operation Sword

U.S. and Iraq Security Forces launched their fifth operation in recent weeks designed to pressure insurgents in the country's expansive and restive Anbar province west of Baghdad, a military statement said.

Operation Sword included about 1,000 U.S. Marines, soldiers and sailors from Regimental Combat Team-2, as well as about 100 Iraqi soldiers, the U.S. military said.

The operation "began early this morning to root out insurgents and foreign fighters in an effort to hamper their fear and intimidation campaign against the innocent Iraqis living along the Euphrates River between the cities of Haditha and Hit," more than 100 miles west of the Iraqi capital, the statement said.

The same combat team recently conducted Operation Spear in Karabila, killing 47 insurgents during the five-day operation and rescuing four hostages who had been bound and gagged.

Other developments

  • A remotely controlled car bomb exploded and killed four people and wounded 29 Monday in Baghdad's Jadeeda neighborhood, Baghdad police said. Baghdad police said the blast targeted, but missed a U.S. military convoy.
  • Elsewhere in Baghdad, a police officer died when gunmen attacked a joint Iraqi-U.S. Army patrol in the Adhamiya neighborhood, according to a U.S. military news release.
  • The military has identified two of the three female troops killed in last week's deadly strike in Falluja, where a suicide car bomber and insurgents wielding small arms attacked their convoy. One is a Marine -- Cpl. Ramona M. Valdez, 20, of the Bronx in New York. The other is a sailor -- Petty Officer 1st Class Regina R. Clark, 43, of Centralia, Washington. Six troops died in Thursday's attack -- the sailor and five Marines -- all assigned to II Marine Expeditionary Force. (Full story)
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said he was optimistic that his government will be able to establish security within its borders within two years. During a meeting Monday with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, al-Jaafari said the timetable could be shortened if Iraq's neighbors help secure its borders and the country's political process continues to move forward. (Full story)
  • CNN's Kevin Flower and Enes Dulami contributed to this report.

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