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Iraq Transition

Suicide bomber kills 10 on Baghdad bus

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A suicide bomber wearing an explosives belt blew himself up inside a bus Monday in northeastern Baghdad, killing 10 people and wounding 17 others, emergency police said.

The attack took place around noon (4 a.m. ET) in the Shaab neighborhood.

Later in the day, the U.S. military said American and Iraqi soldiers had conducted a series of raids over the past three days in which 24 suspected insurgents were arrested and a large cache of weapons seized.

A raid Monday in Haswah, south of Baghdad, netted the arrests of six insurgents charged with attacks against Iraqi civilians and police, the military said.

Nine others suspected of murder, kidnapping, extortion and car theft were arrested in raids in Haswah and the Baghdad area.

The suspects' criminal activities were helping finance other insurgent cells, the military said.

After coming under rocket attack Sunday in Baghdad, U.S. soldiers captured two insurgents during a predawn patrol.

Also Sunday, U.S. and Iraqi forces captured four insurgents suspected of murders, kidnappings and bomb attacks against Iraqi police and civilians, the military said.

Violence continues

The bus attack that killed 10 people was just one of several deadly incidents Monday.

Six people were killed Monday evening when a mortar round landed in a residential area on the northern outskirts of Baghdad.

Two hours earlier, gunmen stormed a house in eastern Baghdad and kidnapped police Maj. Maher Muossa, chief of al-Rashad police station.

About the same time, five employees working for the North Oil Company of Kirkuk were killed by gunmen on the northern outskirts of Baghdad, police said.

Earlier Monday, a car bomb exploded in a central Baghdad parking garage, wounding one person and damaging 13 cars, emergency police said. The blast occurred near the Iranian Embassy and the Green Zone. (Watch Iraqis ask "Why?" after an unusually deadly day -- 2:28)

In northern Baghdad, gunmen killed a high-ranking police official, police said. Brig. Gen. Salih Kamel and his driver were shot to death around 8 a.m.

In western Baghdad, gunmen opened fire on the convoy of an adviser to Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mehdi, a Shiite, killing two of his bodyguards, police said. The adviser was not wounded.

In northern Iraq, a journalist was shot and killed in western Mosul's Noor neighborhood, police and hospital officials said. Mohammed al-Ban worked as a cameraman for al-Sharqiya TV and wrote articles for al-Massar newspaper.

Police found 46 bullet-riddled bodies Monday in various parts of Baghdad, including those of a police officer, three street vendors and a carpenter, police said.

Two American soldiers were killed Monday by a improvised bomb during combat operations in Baghdad, the U.S. military said. Both were members of the Multinational Division Baghdad.

On Sunday, two U.S. soldiers on patrol in Salaheddin province were killed and two others wounded when a suicide car bomb exploded near their vehicle, the military said. All were members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

The deaths brought the number of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war to 2,844. November's death toll stands at 33. Seven civilian Pentagon contractors also have died since the war began.

High-ranking U.S. general visits Iraq

Gen. John Abizaid, head of the U.S. Central Command, made a surprise visit Monday to Baghdad to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and "reaffirm President Bush's commitment" to success in Iraq, the Iraqi government said.

Abizaid also told al-Maliki that the U.S. remains "keen" on helping Iraq's armed forces to take over security throughout the country, according to the Iraqi government.

Abizaid and al-Maliki also discussed the effect of the neighboring countries on the security situation in Iraq, the Iraqi government said.

A U.S. military spokesman confirmed the trip, but did not have specific details.

Abizaid is the third top U.S. official to visit Iraq since October 30, when national security adviser Stephen Hadley made an unannounced visit. National Intelligence Director John Negroponte met with Iraqi officials November 3.

Bush met Monday with members of the Iraq Study Group, which is looking into alternatives to the war.

"The president's open to fresh ideas here. Everybody's reviewing the situation," White House chief of staff Josh Bolten said Sunday. (Full story)

Iraqi PM pushes for Cabinet changes

Al-Maliki asked the Iraqi parliament Sunday to let him replace some of his Cabinet ministers, according to sources in the prime minister's office and a member of the parliament.

Iraqi national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie said al-Maliki has been talking to his "inner circle" about overhauling the Cabinet for a "long time."

Some ministers were incompetent and some considered their party leaders, not the prime minister, to be their boss, he said.

Al-Maliki made the request during a closed-door session, said parliament member Mahmoud Othman. (Full story)

After the session, al-Maliki noted that the Cabinet, which includes Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish representatives, was already formed before he was chosen to be prime minister in April.

"I have said repeatedly that this Cabinet was not my choice," al-Maliki told reporters. He said he would have selected "other than the current ministers or at least some of them."

Al-Rubaie said some ministers are acting as individuals, not as members of a national unity government. He said they were not "singing from the same song sheet."

CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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