Seven Iraqis killed in car bombing in Baquba
Iraqis lament civilian deaths as mission against insurgents nears end
A car bomb exploded Wednesday in Baquba, Iraq, apparently targeting an Iraqi police patrol.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Seven Iraqis were killed and four others injured Wednesday when a suicide car bomb exploded in Baquba, north of Baghdad.
Four police officers were among the dead in a bombing apparently targeting an Iraqi police patrol in the city, located about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of the capital. Baquba often has been the scene of sectarian violence and attacks on Iraqi security forces.
In other deadly violence Wednesday, two car bombs killed at least five Iraqi civilians and wounded 25 others, the U.S. military said.
The blasts went off near the Al Shab police station and the next-door Al Sharoofi Mosque in the Adhamiya district.
Neither building was damaged, the military said.
Meanwhile, a driver for an Education Ministry official was gunned down in Baghdad's Shula neighborhood, Iraqi police said.
A Sudanese administrative attaché for the Sudanese Embassy also was shot dead while driving his car Wednesday morning in Baghdad, Iraqi emergency police said.
Earlier Wednesday, a U.S.-led airstrike in western Iraq destroyed what was believed to be an al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist weapons cache in a village near Qaim along the Syrian border, the military said.
Also Wednesday, a U.S. Marine died from wounds he received earlier this week in a roadside bomb attack in Anbar province west of Baghdad, a military statement said.
The number of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war stands at 2,058.
Operation in western Iraq nears end
Operation Steel Curtain began to wind down in Husayba, a town in the northwestern corner of Anbar province, while Iraqis furiously complained about U.S. airstrikes they said killed at least 24 civilians.
U.S. Marines and Iraqi soldiers pushed eastward Wednesday, battling insurgents and foreign fighters who they say sneak into the country from Syria just miles away.
Col. Stephen Davis, a Marines spokesman, said the worst fighting had been in the southern part of the city. In that section of town, some residents admitted their neighborhoods had been havens for insurgents.
The Iraqis were bitter, though, that the U.S. military used warplanes to drop bombs on homes. They said civilians died in at least two houses that took direct hits.
A CNN crew saw seven bodies in one home and was told another house had 17 deaths from three related families.
According to a U.S. military news release, before the airstrikes, a man told Marines and Iraqi soldiers that insurgents had broken into a home, killed two occupants and held the others hostage while launching attacks against the coalition forces.
"Subsequently, the house was destroyed by coalition aircraft," the statement said. "The soldiers and Marines had no knowledge of the civilians being held hostage in the home at the time of the attack."
The statement also said Marines rescued two people after the bombings.
Marines and the Iraqi army remained in Husayba, conducting "back clearing" -- returning to areas already swept to conduct patrols, execute fresh searches and talk with residents. U.S. troops are still finding roadside bombs as they patrol the town, Davis said.
CNN's Arwa Damon and David Ensor contributed to this report.
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