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Iraq violence claims 50 lives
Firefighters respond to a Baghdad bombing that killed four, including two CBS News crew members.


• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide



BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- At least 50 people died Monday in a series of bombings and ambushes in Iraq, police and the military said.

Among the dead were two members of a CBS News crew, who were killed when a bomb ripped through the U.S. military convoy in central Baghdad. One U.S. soldier and an Iraqi translator also died in that attack.

CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier was seriously injured. (Full story)

Monday's deadliest attack was near Khalis, about 50 miles north of Baghdad. A roadside bomb ripped through a minibus carrying Iraqis employed by a group opposed to the Iranian regime, killing 13 and wounding 15 others -- some critically -- according to a statement from the opposition group, the People's Mojahedin of Iran.

The bus was loaded with at least 40 passengers, according to an official with the Diyala Joint Coordination Center.

People's Mojahedin of Iran blamed "mercenary terrorists of the Iranian regime" for the bombing.

The group says it has been the target of 150 terrorist operations in Iraq, carried out "by the terrorists sent by the fascist regime ruling Iran."

Most of the other attacks Monday happened in Baghdad.

In the most recent attacks in Baghdad, two car bombs detonated in the Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiya, one targeting a mosque the other an Iraqi army patrol.

The blasts happened 30 minutes apart.

The first blast, targeting the army patrol, killed 12 and wounded 24, a Baghdad police official said.

Five civilians were killed and seven others wounded outside the Abu Hanifa mosque in Adhamiya, according to a police official.

Earlier, a minibus was hit by a roadside bomb as it drove down a street in a Shiite neighborhood in northern Baghdad, killing seven civilians and wounding nine others, police said.

Two people died and one was wounded when a roadside bomb struck a minibus in southeastern Baghdad, Baghdad police said.

Another roadside bomb explosion killed an Iraqi police officer and wounded three others in central Baghdad, police said.

Another car bomb hit an Iraqi police patrol near the German Embassy in central Baghdad. Three people were killed and five wounded, police said.

In other violence, gunmen ambushed an Iraqi police patrol in western Baghdad, killing three police officers Monday morning, police said.

Ministry posts expected to be filled soon

Iraq Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih vowed Sunday that the posts of defense minister and interior minister would be filled in short order.

The positions are considered crucial because those who hold them would be in the vanguard of defeating the insurgency and establishing order in war-torn Iraq.

"My hope is that people outside would understand the scale of the difficulties we're dealing with, certainly on the security file," Salih told CNN's "Late Edition."

"Sometimes we need more time than people are willing to give us."

Last weekend, when the new Iraqi government was sworn in, the hope was that the top security jobs could be filled within a week.

Still, Salih said he had just spoken with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, "and he's committed to make the decision very soon."

Salih said it "is a safe bet ... but not by any means a foregone conclusion" that the defense minister will be an Iraqi Sunni and the interior minister a Shiite.

Their ethnicity is seen as critical, given that al-Maliki has vowed to disarm the militias loyal to Iraq's various ethnic groups -- one of the most difficult issues the new prime minister faces.

"The issue of organized armed groups who are acting outside the state and outside the law are becoming a serious problem for our politics and our society, and we have to deal with it," Salih said.

Candidates named

Bahaa al-Araji of the Shiite-led United Iraqi Alliance told reporters Sunday that the defense post candidates are Saadoun al-Dulaimi, the transitional defense minister; Mohammed Baraa al-Rubaie, a brigadier general in Iraq's pre-2003 army; and Osama Najafi, former minister of industry and minerals in the transitional government.

The candidates for the Ministry of the Interior are Mowaffak al-Rubaie, who had been national security adviser; and Tawfeeq al-Yassir, a former brigadier general during the Saddam Hussein era who served in the transitional government's security council, al-Araji said.

Al-Maliki will select candidates for a six-month trial basis, Al-Araji said.

There was no immediate reaction from the Sunni-led Iraqi Accord Front. Sunnis have objected to Shiite leadership of the Interior Ministry, which controls the national police force.

Other developments

  • Two British soldiers were killed Sunday in a roadside bomb attack in Basra, the UK Ministry of Defense said. (Full story)
  • The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold hearings into allegations that U.S. Marines committed an atrocity last year in Haditha, the panel's chairman, Sen. John Warner, R-Virginia, said Sunday. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, also appearing on ABC's "This Week," alleged a "cover-up" and said the fallout could be "worse than Abu Ghraib." (Full story)
  • The trial of deposed leader Hussein continued Monday in Baghdad, with the defense bringing in more witnesses. (Full story)
  • Two U.S. Marines were missing after their helicopter crashed during a maintenance test flight in Iraq's Anbar province Saturday, the military said.
  • CNN's Jennifer Deaton and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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