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Suicide bomber kills 30 in Iraq

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    BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A suicide bomber killed 30 people and wounded 40 more at an Iraqi army and police recruitment center near the Iraqi city of Tal Afar on Wednesday, the director of the city's hospital told CNN.

    It was the second suicide bombing in as many days in the predominantly Sunni city. The two bombings combined killed at least 60 as the days ticked down to Iraq's constitutional referendum scheduled for Saturday.

    Dr. Salih Qadu said the bomber detonated his explosives-laden vest in a group of fresh recruits at the center, about six miles (10 km) east of the northwest Iraqi town.

    Earlier, a U.S. military source said 24 had been killed and 30 wounded.

    On Tuesday, a suicide bomber drove a car painted to look like a taxi into a crowded vegetable market. At least 30 people were killed and another 45 wounded, according to Khasro Goran, deputy governor of Nineveh province.

    Eight people, including seven Iraqi soldiers, were also wounded Wednesday when a suicide car bomb detonated outside the city of Baquba, authorities said.

    The explosion occurred about 10:15 a.m. (3:15 a.m. EDT), about 15 kilometers (9 miles) west of the city. Initial reports indicated the bomb, in a white Oldsmobile, was targeting an Iraqi army patrol, according to officials at the Diyala Joint Coordination Center.

    One civilian also was injured in the blast. Baquba is in Diyala province north of Baghdad.

    About 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, a parked car bomb injured six people when it was remotely detonated, according to an Iraqi police official with Baghdad emergency police. The bomb was apparently targeting the convoy of the Sunni Minister of State for Governorates Affairs, Saad Nayif al-Hardan, but he was not in the convoy at the time, the official said.

    The explosion took place in al-Qahtan square in western Baghdad.

    Three of al-Hardan's guards were among those wounded in the blast, and two of the convoy vehicles were damaged.

    A parked car bomb exploded near a U.S. military patrol in Baghdad's al-Ghazaliya neighborhood about 9:45 a.m., but left neither casualties nor damage, a U.S. military spokesman with the 3rd Infantry Division told CNN.

    A fourth explosion in the same area targeted Iraqi Security Forces, he said, but could provide no further details.

    Although the first weeks of September were violent in Iraq, violence has since tapered off.

    Officials, however, believe insurgents are gearing up for violent attacks -- including car bombings -- in the days leading up to Saturday's election. No vehicle movement will be permitted on Saturday.

    CNN Producer Arwa Damon and CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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