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3 killed, 9 wounded in Iraq bomb blast

From Jomana Karadsheh, CNN
  • The bomb apparently targeted an Iraqi Army patrol
  • Officials say the city has been on high alert following the Baghdad attacks
  • At least 150 people are dead across the country in the past week

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- Three Iraqi soldiers were killed and nine others -- mostly civilians -- were wounded after a bomb ripped through the Iraqi city of Baquba Friday, police officials told CNN.

Police said a parked car bomb detonated in the western part of the city near the civil defense headquarters, apparently targeting an Iraqi Army patrol. The three killed were Iraqi soldiers and the wounded were mostly civilian bystanders, including two women, police said.

According to local residents, the city has been on high alert since a series of coordinated bomb attacks in Baghdad on Tuesday. Many roads have been cut off and a vehicle ban has been imposed in some areas, including the main market.

Baquba is located about 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Baghdad and is the capital of the ethnically mixed Diyala province. A week ago, at least 25 people were killed and dozens wounded in a suicide bombing in Diyala.

More than 150 Iraqis have been killed in violence across the country in the past week. Tuesday, 64 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in more than a dozen bombings that struck mostly Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad. The bombings were one of the largest-scale coordinated attacks in the capital since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

At least 58 people died in the siege of a Baghdad church Sunday by fighters affiliated with al Qaeda in Iraq, in one of the worst attacks of the war against Iraq's dwindling Christian minority.

With the level of violence steadily rising since the country's largely inconclusive March election, most Iraqis have become increasingly frustrated with their politicians, blaming the bloodshed on the ongoing power struggle.