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Iraq Transition

13 wounded in car bomb attack

French hostage freed in joint U.S.-Iraqi military operation


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• Interactive: Sectarian divide


Unrest, Conflicts and War

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- At least 13 people, including six Iraqi police commandos, were wounded when a suicide car bomb exploded Saturday as a police commando patrol was passing by, police said.

The bomb went off in southeast Baghdad's al-Jadida neighborhood, authorities said, about 10:15 a.m. ( 2:15 a.m. ET).

On Friday, military officials revealed that eleven U.S. troops -- eight soldiers and three Marines -- were among about 140 people killed in attacks across Iraq Thursday, the deadliest day in Iraq in nearly four months.

A U.S. soldier and a U.S. Marine were killed in a major suicide bombing targeting an Iraqi police recruitment center in Ramadi, the military said Friday. Both were assigned to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Their deaths bring the number of people killed in the Ramadi attack to at least 82, along with about 70 wounded. (More on what happened)

In addition, two U.S. Marines were killed by small arms fire in separate attacks during combat operations in Falluja, the military said. The Marines were assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Also, a roadside bomb killed two Task Force Baghdad soldiers on patrol in the Baghdad area of operations, the military said Friday. That incident was under investigation.

And five other Task Force Baghdad soldiers died in a separate roadside bombing near Baghdad.

The names of the soldiers and Marines were withheld pending notification of relatives. Since the war began, 2,193 U.S. troops have died in Iraq.

Thursday's violence also included a suicide bomb attack in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, where 45 people were killed and 82 wounded, police and hospital officials said. The attacker detonated his explosives near two Shiite shrines, the Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas.

The area has been closed off and police are investigating, said police spokesman Rahman Mishawi.

Karbala, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Baghdad, has been relatively free of violence for the past year.

Asked if the attacks were a sign that the December elections had failed to diminish the insurgency in Iraq, Gen. Peter Pace said the opposite was true.

Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that with each of the country's three elections, voter turnout increased, indicating that "the terrorists failed at each of their primary missions of stopping the vote."

"What's clear to me is that each of the elections has been a major blow to al Qaeda," Pace said at a Pentagon news conference Thursday. "I think what you're seeing now is a continuing attempt to disrupt the proper formation of the Iraqi government, and I'm confident they will fail."

Other developments

  • A homemade bomb damaged a main pipeline carrying oil from the country's largest refinery in Baiji to the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, Kirkuk's police chief said.
  • A French humanitarian worker who had been held hostage in Iraq for more than a month was freed Saturday during a joint U.S.-Iraqi military operation, the military said. (Full story)
  • U.S. President George W. Bush and his top aides met Thursday with more than a dozen former secretaries of defense and state at the White House, Reuters reported. Bush said he would "take to heart" the suggestions the former policy-makers had for the U.S. strategy in Iraq. (Full story)
  • CNN's Cal Perry, Barbara Starr and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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