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Widespread attacks kill 13 in Iraq

Six U.S. soldiers, two CNN employees among dead

Three U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi civilian were killed by a roadside bomb in Khaldiyah, west of Baghdad.
Three U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi civilian were killed by a roadside bomb in Khaldiyah, west of Baghdad.

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A blast west of Baghdad kills three U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi civilian.
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CNN's Michael Holmes reports on deadly attacks in Iraq on Saturday.
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U.S. Army

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Five attacks claimed the lives of 13 people in Iraq on Tuesday, including six U.S. soldiers, two CNN employees, four Iraqi policemen and an Iraqi civilian, according to police and military sources.

Three Combined Joint Task Force 7 soldiers were killed and three were wounded in a roadside bomb attack near Iskandariyah at 8 p.m. (noon ET) Tuesday.

They were traveling in a convoy when their vehicle struck the device. The wounded soldiers were evacuated to the 28th Combat Support Hospital.

In Khaldiyah, west of Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed three U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi civilian at about 1 p.m. (5 a.m. ET), a U.S. military spokesman said. One U.S. soldier and three Iraqis were wounded in the blast, the spokesman said.

Khaldiyah is between Fallujah and Ramadi, and also lies in the Sunni Triangle. The military said it is investigating the attack.

On the outskirts of Baghdad Tuesday, two CNN employees were killed and a third was wounded when the cars they were traveling in came under fire. They were returning to Baghdad in a two-car convoy from an assignment in the southern city of Hillah when they were ambushed on the outskirts of the city.

Translator/producer Duraid Isa Mohammed and driver Yasser Khatab died of multiple gunshot wounds. Cameraman Scott McWhinnie, in the other vehicle, was grazed in the head by a bullet.(Full story)

In the holy Shiite city of Karbala, an Iraqi policeman was killed and two others were wounded Tuesday when assailants drove up to the headquarters of Polish coalition troops and opened fire, according to police sources.

In Ramadi, gunmen shot dead three additional Iraqi police officers Tuesday outside a police station, according to U.S. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt.

Kimmitt also said the coalition was working throughout Iraq to make arrests and seize weapons. In raids in Bayji, "three armed attackers were killed when they confronted coalition soldiers as soldiers raided four locations," Kimmitt said.

He said the soldiers "were attempting to capture individuals who were suspected members of Mohammed's Army, an anti-coalition cell operating in the area. The soldiers captured five personnel, involving three targets."

Over the weekend, five U.S. soldiers and four Iraqi civilians were killed in three bomb attacks in the Sunni Triangle, U.S. military officials said. Also, three attacks in a 24-hour period between January 21 and 22 in the area killed nine people, including two U.S. soldiers. (Full story)

Since the war began in Iraq in March, 518 U.S. soldiers have been killed, according to military figures -- 361 in what the military describes as "hostile." Since President Bush declared major combat operations over on May 1, 379 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq -- 246 of them in hostile circumstances.

U.N. election help headed to Iraq

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Tuesday he is ready to send a mission to Iraq to decide if and when elections can be held.

Annan said he has concluded "that the United Nations can play a constructive role in helping to break the current impasse" over whether to hold direct elections or caucuses to choose a transitional national assembly. (Full story)

Annan said the ability of the Coalition Provisional Authority to provide adequate security is a key factor in the decision.

Most U.N. staff pulled out of Iraq in October, two months after a bomb attack on its Baghdad headquarters killed 22 people, including top U.N. envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello. (Full story)

Other developments

• In Baghdad, a gang claiming to be from an Islamic party took over a Red Crescent office Tuesday in an upscale Baghdad neighborhood, and at least one staffer was wounded in the incident, a Red Crescent official told CNN. Iraqi police were at the scene.

• Also in Baghdad, the military said authorities who were checking a car for explosives near Iraq Governing Council offices Tuesday did not find a bomb, reversing a previous military report that explosives had been found. According to the military, the car went through a checkpoint, and a bomb-sniffing dog indicated it might contain explosives. The area was cordoned off, but soldiers did not find explosives.

• Late Monday, a rocket struck an open parking lot in central Baghdad's "Green Zone," where the coalition has its headquarters. U.S. military officials said no one was injured, and there was no damage to property.

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