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Dozens die in wave of Baghdad attacks

An Iraqi mourns the death of a relative outside a hospital in Baghdad on Saturday.


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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- At least 36 people were killed Saturday in a string of attacks around Baghdad, police say.

Four of the attacks came between 10 and 11 a.m. (0600 and 0700 GMT), one in the early afternoon and two more in the evening, despite a major security crackdown against insurgents in the city.

The two deadliest attacks were with car bombs, one of which targeted an Iraqi army-police patrol in central Baghdad around 11 a.m. (Watch the chaotic scenes right after the strikes -- 1:24)

Eleven people, including one Iraqi soldier, were killed and 15 people were wounded, including eight soldiers and three police.

An evening car bombing killed 12 and wounded 36 at a police checkpoint in the al-Maalef Shiite district of southwest Baghdad, police said.

Also in the evening, insurgents bombed an Iraqi police patrol, killing one officer and wounding four in the Dora neighborhood of southern Baghdad.

Earlier on Saturday two markets were bombed during the busy midmorning. Around 10 a.m. four mortar rounds slammed into the Sarabadi market in the Shiite neighborhood of Kadhimiya, in northwestern Baghdad, killing two people and wounding 14.

A bomb exploded in the Haraj market in central Baghdad at 10:30 a.m., killing five people and wounding 25.

One person was killed and five were wounded when a car bomb detonated near the National Theatre in central Baghdad at 10:40 a.m.

Another incident took place around 1:15 p.m. in a Shiite neighborhood in southeastern Baghdad.

A bomb exploded in a minibus that was carrying passengers. Four people were killed and seven others were wounded.

Attack on soldiers

A senior U.S. military official acknowledged Saturday that two soldiers may have been abducted after an attack Friday evening at a checkpoint that left another soldier dead.

"There are intelligence indicators [that] they may have been captured alive rather than killed," a senior military official told CNN Saturday night.

His statement followed a New York Times report, citing Iraqi witnesses as saying insurgents led two U.S. soldiers away following an attack that was possibly designed to separate the U.S. force there. (Full story)

The soldiers, who were not identified, are officially listed as "whereabouts unknown."

Suicide bomb at mosque

Meanwhile, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official on Saturday said authorities concluded the suicide bomber at a Shiite mosque in Baghdad on Friday managed to slip inside the mosque with explosives in his shoes and believe he was with an accomplice.

Police believe the bomber wanted to kill the imam at the holy site -- the Buratha Mosque in northwestern Baghdad -- Sheikh Jalaluddin al-Saghir, a member of parliament affiliated with the Shiite-led United Iraqi Alliance -- the coalition that won a plurality in the December 15 parliamentary elections.

The bombing killed 11 and wounded 25 during Friday prayers. It occurred during a four-hour vehicle ban designed to thwart suicide car bombings and it came during the start of a major Baghdad security crackdown.

Maj. Gen. Mahdi al-Gharrawi of the Interior Ministry told CNN the bomber went into a bathroom either carrying or wearing his shoes, removed the explosives, placed them in a suicide belt, and then sat among prayer-goers with the belt strapped on.

Around that time, guards in the mosque discovered shoes set aside with explosives in them and began searching the mosque for the owner of the shoes.

While the search was going on, the bomber blew himself up.

The shoes the authorities found didn't detonate, and the owner of those shoes is thought to have fled, police believe.

It is the custom to remove shoes when entering a mosque.

Suicide bombers also struck the mosque on April 7, killing more than 80 people.

Sources: Haditha report done

Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell -- charged with leading an investigation into the deaths of Iraqi civilians in Haditha -- has completed a report, according to military sources.

The investigation was to determine how the Haditha incident was reported and whether there was a cover-up. No findings or date of the public release of the report were disclosed.

Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who as head of Multinational Corps-Iraq is the second highest in commander in Iraq, will review the report.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is conducting a separate criminal inquiry.

The investigations stem from allegations that U.S. Marines killed up to 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha last November after a roadside bomb killed one of their own.

Other developments

  • The U.S. Army has begun an investigation into the deaths last month "of three males in coalition force custody," the U.S. military said Friday. Chiarelli said the deaths occurred on or about May 9 in southern Salaheddin province, north of Baghdad.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives rejected a timetable Friday for a withdrawal of troops from Iraq. The nonbinding resolution, which also labels the war part of a global fight against terrorism, passed 256-153. On Thursday, the Senate rejected 93-6 a call to withdraw combat troops by year's end. (Full story)
  • CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq, Cal Perry and Barbara Starr contributed to this report

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