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Six die as bomb hits Iraq police convoy

  • Story Highlights
  • Six people killed, 17 wounded after car bomb explodes in northern Iraq
  • Explosion happened near a senior Kurdish police officer's convoy
  • New figures show roadside attacks in Iraq are at lowest level in two years
  • Concentration of such attacks has shifted to the northern part of the country
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- At least six people were killed and 17 wounded after a car bomb exploded in northern Iraq near a senior Kurdish police officer's convoy, a police official tells CNN.

Two police officers were among six people who were killed Thursday after this car bomb exploded in Kirkuk.

Two police officers were among the six killed Thursday, but Brig. Gen. Khattab Omar, who was injured, survived the blast, which took place north of Baghdad in Kirkuk around 8 a.m. (12 a.m. ET), the official said.

The attack comes as new figures show roadside bomb attacks in Iraq are at their lowest levels in two years, but the concentration of such attacks has shifted to the northern part of the country.

"The fighting in al Anbar, the success in Baghdad, has forced these terrorists out of those areas and into that battle space (in northern Iraq)," Maj. Gen. James Simmons, deputy commanding general for Multinational Corps-Iraq, said Thursday.

"And they take their preferred method of killing people with them whenever they're pushed into other areas of Iraq."

Despite the shift, Simmons said, "There is a decrease (in IED attacks) across all of the areas of Iraq."

Simmons said there were 1,560 IEDs found in October across Iraq -- 763 of those exploded and the other half were found and cleared. That compares to 3,239 IEDs found in March, of which 1,750 exploded and the remaining 1,489 were cleared.

October's rate is the lowest since September 2005 -- seven months after the bombing of a Shiite mosque in Samarra that sparked sectarian violence -- and the rate of IED attacks has risen steadily since then, Simmons said.

He could not break down how many of last month's roadside bombs exploded in northern Iraq, but said "the preponderance of those that are going off now are in (Multi-National Division-North) battle space."

"That would be north of Taji all the way up to Mosul and over Kirkuk to the Iranian border, and west through Tal Afar and the Sinjar mountains out to the Syrian border," Simmons said.

"That is the area where most of the IEDs are detonating right now here in Iraq."

He also said U.S. and Iraqi forces are improving the rate of finding IEDs before they detonate, which is now at 50 percent.

That improvement is because of the help of Iraqi civilians

"Many of these caches we are finding with hundreds of weapons systems are coming from tips from Iraqi people living in the neighborhoods where these criminals are operating and they're tired of it," Simmons said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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