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Insurgent bombers kill 30 in Iraq

3 cities targeted in attacks

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Bombs in three Iraqi cities killed 30 people and wounded about 75, authorities said Sunday.

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including five Iraqi police officers, and wounded more than 50 others at an Iraqi army recruiting center, Iraqi security sources said.

The blast occurred about 8:55 a.m., police said, when a bomber wearing an explosives vest underneath his clothing detonated among recruits.

Recruiting centers are a frequent target for insurgents in Iraq. Last weekend, an attack targeted a Baghdad army brigade headquarters.

In Kirkuk, a suicide car bomb exploded near offices in the city center about 8 a.m. Sunday, said Maj. Gen. Anwar Mohammed Amin, commander of the Iraqi Army of Kirkuk. Four people were killed and at least 18 wounded.

The suicide bomber was waiting in a side street off a main road that is usually used by Iraqi government officials and employees, Amin said. The attack apparently was targeting government officials. The blast destroyed three civilian cars.

In the northern city of Mosul, a car bomb detonated about 10 a.m. as a police convoy passed, authorities said. Four people were killed and at least three wounded.

The bombings follow the kidnapping and killing of an Egyptian diplomat last week by insurgents. (Full story)

Coalition launches offensive

On Saturday, Iraqi security forces and U.S. Marines launched a new offensive against insurgents in Anbar province, the Marines said.

About 600 troops -- 500 U.S. Marines and 100 Iraqi soldiers -- are taking part in Operation Scimitar, which began Thursday but was first announced Saturday.

The U.S. military said Marines detained 22 insurgents in Zaidon, a town about 18 miles (30 kilometers) south of the city of Falluja.

The operation is the sixth major offensive in Anbar in the past few months. The latest operation in western Iraq, dubbed Sword, went after insurgents between Haditha and Hit but focused on Hit, a city of 120,000 along the Euphrates River, about 100 miles northwest of Baghdad.

Scimitar is smaller in scale than previous operations, which usually involved about 1,000 troops.

Anbar province -- which stretches from just west of Baghdad to the Syrian, Jordan and Saudi Arabian borders -- is believed to be a major staging area for insurgents and foreign fighters, many of whom are thought to be Sunni Arabs.

Other developments

  • In southwestern Baghdad, two employees of the Iraqna Telephone Company were fatally shot by four unknown gunmen who opened fire on their car in al-Saydiya Square, Iraqi police said.
  • Gunmen in southwestern Baghdad shot dead a police officer, Capt. Saad Muhsen Abdulamir, on Saturday morning. A bystander was also wounded.
  • A homemade bomb detonated in western Mosul on Saturday and wounded four civilians, the U.S. military said.
  • CNN's Cal Perry, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Aneesh Raman contributed to this report.

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