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Bomb kills Iraqi province's governor, police chief

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: 11 bodies found in Baghdad on Saturday; number is lower than usual
  • Convoy of top Qadisiya province officials hit by roadside device
  • U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales makes surprise visit to Baghdad
  • Two arrested in connection with July bombing that killed 80 in Kirkuk
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The governor and the police chief of a southern Shiite province in Iraq were killed Saturday when a roadside bomb struck their convoy, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.

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A woman mourns Saturday at a relative's grave in Najaf. Families across Iraq remembered loved ones Saturday.

The bomb killed Qadisiya province Gov. Khalil Jalil Hamza and Brig .Gen. Khalid Abed Hassan, the provincial police chief. Three of the governor's bodyguards were slain and three others were wounded. Hamza and Hassan were riding in the same vehicle.

The province has been the scene of some violence between Shiite factions, and U.S.-led coalition forces have taken on militants in the provincial capital, Diwaniya.

The attack occurred in Afak, more than 18 miles (30 kilometers) east of Diwaniya, after the officials attended a funeral for a sheik.

Also Saturday, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other top Justice Department officials arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced trip to assess Iraqi efforts to improve law enforcement and judiciary functions in Iraq.

Gonzales was accompanied by Michael Sullivan, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and John Clark, director of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Gonzales and his entourage are holding a series of meetings with key U.S. military and civilian officials and their Iraqi counterparts seeking to improve security in the war-ravaged country.

The delegation met with some of the more than 200 Justice Department employees stationed with the military in Iraq and with the top U.S. military commander, Gen. David Petraeus.

They also met with the Iraqi Supreme Court chief justice, the interior minister and the minister of human rights.

Gonzales' visit is expected to be brief. He is scheduled to address a police officers convention in Louisville, Kentucky, on Tuesday morning.

Also on Saturday, the bodies of 11 people were found on Baghdad streets, police told CNN.

A total of 173 bodies have been found on the streets of the capital this month. The people are thought to be victims of sectarian violence.

The number of such corpses discovered in the past few days has been lower than usual; six were found Friday and nine Thursday.

There had been strict security and a vehicle ban in the capital through much of the week because of the Shiite pilgrimage to the Kadhimiya shrine in the northwestern part of the city.

Meanwhile, a U.S. soldier in Iraq died Friday in "a noncombat-related incident," the U.S. military said Saturday.

The soldier was with Task Force Lightning, the name for the U.S. forces operating across northern Iraq.

The number of U.S. military deaths in the Iraq war stands at 3,677. Seven civilian contractors also have been killed. So far this month, 26 U.S. troops have died.

Coalition forces targeting al Qaeda in Iraq on Saturday detained two people with suspected links to a July 16 suicide truck bombing that killed 80 people in Kirkuk, the U.S. military said.

Coalition forces also killed three insurgents and detained 10 others during operations in northern Iraq. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Terry Frieden and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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