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Insurgent medical facility found next to torture complex

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Head of former insurgent group, now coalition ally, killed in bombing
  • NEW: Suicide bomber hits Baquba funeral of Awakening Council member
  • NEW: Baiji police chief fired after suicide attack there
  • Petraeus: Facility is part of al Qaeda complex that includes torture room
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Troops in Iraq have found a medical facility next to the torture complex discovered last week near the Diyala province city of Muqdadiya, according to the top U.S. general in Iraq.

These bodies were found last week in a mass grave at the complex where an insurgent medical facility was found.

Gen. David Petraeus told CNN that the facility was part of a larger complex belonging to al Qaeda in Iraq and that a large weapons cache was also found.

The general cited a similar complex found in Baquba last June and said the complexes typically have torture rooms, courthouses, weapons and food warehouses, and medical facilities.

Last week, coalition forces found 26 bodies buried in mass graves, a bloodstained torture complex with chains hanging from walls and ceilings, and a bed connected to an electrical system.

The complex was in an area thought to be an al Qaeda in Iraq haven and operating base, the military said. Iraqis had tipped off Task Force Iron members about the site during an earlier operation.

Elsewhere in the province, a bomber blew himself up in the middle of a funeral procession, killing nine people and wounding 20, a Baquba police official said. Casualties included members of an Awakening Council -- a grass-roots anti-al-Qaeda movement.

Among the dead was Hajj Farhan al-Baharzawi, the local head of the Brigades of 20th Revolution, a former Sunni insurgent group -- now an ally of the U.S. military.

According to police, the funeral was for Auday Mohammed Hassan, another Awakening Council member who was mistakenly killed by the U.S. military in Baquba hours earlier.

The attack was one of two suicide attacks; another, in the northern city of Baiji, killed at least 25 people and wounded 80 as people were picking up cylinders of cooking gas. Video Watch the scene of the attack »

A number of people were killed by exploding gas cylinders, a police official said.

Baiji Police Chief Saad Nufoos was fired after the attack, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.

Other developments

  • Two U.S. soldiers were killed and three were wounded Wednesday by small-arms fire in northern Iraq's Nineveh province, the U.S. military said. This brings the number of U.S. military deaths in the war to 3,893 and the number in December to 19; seven U.S. military contractors also have died in the war.
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  • The U.S. military announced the killing of Abu Abdullah, a high-level al Qaeda in Iraq leader, near Samarra on November 8, and of four insurgents in operations on Wednesday in central Iraq.
  • About 73,000 Iraqis have joined groups opposing al Qaeda in Iraq, according to Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner, Multi-National Force - Iraq spokesman -- and Phil Reeker, counselor for public affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
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    CNN's Roya Shadravan, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Harris Whitbeck contributed to this report.

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