Four killed, 17 hurt in Iraq attacks
New U.S., Iraqi army offensive centered in Ramadi launched
A militia member stands guard over crowds of Shiite faithful gathering for prayers Friday in Baghdad.
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Insurgents in Iraq killed four people and wounded 17 others Saturday in three separate attacks, officials said.
The violence comes as the December 15 general elections to name a new national assembly approach.
In the day's deadliest attack, a blast from a suicide car bomb ripped through a gas station in the Iraqi city of Samarra, killing three people and wounding nine others, according to the city's police chief.
The bombing also destroyed five cars, the chief said. Samarra is north of Baghdad in Salaheddin province.
The attack -- and two others in Baghdad -- came as about 550 U.S. and Iraqi troops launched Operation Tigers in the nation's western Anbar province, the military said.
The offensive is centered in the eastern sector of the city of Ramadi and is the fourth in a "series of disruption operations."
About 400 coalition forces and 150 Iraqi army soldiers are participating in the operation, the military said.
The operation is aimed at stabilizing the region in preparation for Iraq's December 15 general elections to seat a national parliament.
U.S. and Iraqi officials have warned that militants will keep trying to disrupt the fledgling government's efforts to build a democracy.
The national assembly to be elected in December is charged with appointing a four-year government and would be able to make changes to a constitution that was passed by a national referendum in October.
Another person was killed in an attack when gunmen fired on people pasting up election posters on walls. Three other people were wounded in the attack in al-Amil neighborhood of southwestern Baghdad, an emergency police official said.
Also Saturday, a roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military patrol on Baghdad's west side, wounding a U.S. contractor and four Iraqi civilians, the military said. The patrol was escorting two civilian vehicles when it was attacked about 8:30 a.m. (12:30 a.m. ET), a U.S. military spokesman said. The injuries were minor, the spokesman said, and the injured were taken to a hospital.
CNN's Arwa Damon and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.
|© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.