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Iraq Transition

Vehicle bombs rip through Baghdad

U.S. ambassador: Terrorists, insurgents control parts of Anbar
Wounded Iraqis rest Tuesday inside a hospital emergency room in Baquba, north of Baghdad.




BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Shootings and bombings Tuesday killed at least 30 people and wounded 52 in Iraq, and the U.S. ambassador acknowledged that Iraq's new government faces "a big challenge" from sectarian violence and the ongoing insurgency.

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said that "terrorists and insurgents" control parts of Iraq's largest province, Anbar.

"But as far as the country as a whole is concerned, it is the coalition forces along with Iraqi forces who are in control," Khalilzad told CNN.

Much of Tuesday's violence took place in Baghdad, where 20 people were killed by vehicle-borne bombs that detonated in three neighborhoods.

The ambassador also said that "there is a challenge in getting the right ministers for defense, interior and the national security department" -- the three remaining Cabinet positions that Khalilzad said will be chosen in the next few days by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

"There is an agreement among all communities that these people [ministers] ought to be people who do not have ties to militias, people who are non-sectarian ... and that they are people who are strong and unifiers," he said.

On Saturday, Iraq's parliament approved the new Cabinet, a move praised by President Bush as "a victory for the cause of freedom in the Middle East."

U.S. and Iraqi officials have expressed hope that the government's formation would help lead to a decrease in sectarian violence and a weakening of the insurgency.

Iran-Iraq relations

When asked about neighboring Iran's relationship with Iraq, the ambassador said the Islamic Republic is playing both sides.

"On one hand, Iran has good relations with the government, says it supports the changes that have taken place in Iraq," Khalilzad said. "But on the other hand, they do support some militias, providing arms, money, training ... and they are also working with some of the groups that are opposed to this change.

"We are working with the Iraqis and others to encourage Iran to abandon the second track -- working with militias."

Khalilzad said the United States does "not oppose good relations between Iran and Iraq, and we have not sought to impose our differences with Iran on our Iraqi friends."

Meanwhile, a human rights report compiled by the U.N. mission in Iraq said "a new brand of violence" involving criminal gangs and sectarian militias has emerged to "severely undermine" human rights in Iraq over the past several months.

Along with the ongoing terrorism of the insurgency, thousands of Iraqi civilians died from sectarian violence, revenge killings and attacks by criminal gangs and militias during March and April, the U.N. study states.

The report also cites infiltration of the new Iraqi security forces by militias and their involvement in sectarian violence.

Motorcycle bomb kills 11

In Tuesday's most deadly attack, a motorcycle rigged with a bomb exploded about 9:30 p.m. near a food stand in the Tunis neighborhood of northern Baghdad. Eleven people were killed and seven were wounded.

A car bomb exploded in Sadr City -- a predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad -- killing at least five people and wounding 15, according to a Baghdad emergency police official. The bomb detonated around 5:45 p.m. in the crowded Jamila market.

And a car bomb targeting an Iraqi police patrol detonated around 11 a.m. in the southeastern Baghdad neighborhood of Jadida, killing at least five people and wounding five, emergency police said.

In other attacks Tuesday:

  • Gunmen fired on a minibus carrying day laborers at 6:30 a.m. in Aswad, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Baghdad, killing three of them and wounding four others, Baquba police said.
  • A bomb exploded in a crowded area in southeastern Baghdad's Zafaraniya neighborhood about 10 p.m., killing one civilian and wounding 11.
  • A roadside bomb detonated around 2 p.m. in the western Baghdad neighborhood of Amriya -- a predominantly Sunni area -- killing one civilian and wounding four, according to a Baghdad emergency police official.
  • Also in Amriya, gunmen shot and killed an employee working with Iraq's Facilities Protection Service at 8:30 a.m., police said.
  • A roadside bomb detonated outside a courthouse in Balad Ruz, killing a child and wounding another person, police said. Balad Ruz is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Baquba.
  • In eastern Baghdad, along Palestine Street, gunmen shot and killed a University of Technology professor, Ahmed Ali Hussein, at 8 a.m. a police official said.
  • About 30 minutes later in the same area, gunmen killed an employee of the Iraqi Industry Ministry.
  • Gunmen wounded three mechanics as they worked in a car repair shop at 10 a.m. in Muqdadiya, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Baquba, police said.
  • In southern Baghdad's Dora neighborhood, a roadside bomb exploded near a U.S. military convoy at 8:30 a.m., wounding two civilians.
  • Also in Dora, a 12-year-old Shiite boy was found dead, shot in the head and chest, Reuters reported. The boy was bound and blindfolded and showed signs of torture with electric drills and cables, Interior Ministry sources told Reuters.
  • CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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