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3 dead in Baghdad violence

By Jomana Karadsheh, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A sticky bomb detonated Monday afternoon, killing an intelligence officer
  • Gunmen in a speeding vehicle fatally shot an Army officer in western Baghdad
  • Baghdad Governate official was shot dead late Sunday in al-Hurriya neighborhood

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- At least three people were killed during the past day in Baghdad, officials said late Monday.

A bomb attached to the vehicle of an Iraqi intelligence officer detonated in western Baghdad Monday afternoon killing him, an Interior Ministry official told CNN.

According to the official, the bomb was attached to the car of Capt. Muthanna Ahmed and exploded in the al-Ghazaliya neighborhood.

Earlier Monday, gunmen in a speeding vehicle fired on and killed an Iraqi Army officer in western Baghdad's Adel neighborhood, the official said.

In the early afternoon, a roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi Army patrol in northern Baghdad's Kadhimiya district detonated, wounding at least four soldiers, the official said.

Late Sunday night, an official with the Baghdad Governorate was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in northern Baghdad's al-Hurriya neighborhood.

Although the incidence of violence has dropped drastically over the past two years, there has been a recent spike in targeted assassinations of security forces, government employees and anti-al-Qaeda fighters using guns with silencers or "sticky bombs," such as the one attached to the vehicle of the intelligence officer.

The violence comes amid political uncertainty. More than six months after the country's inconclusive national elections, Iraqi politicians have been unable to form a government.

Concerns have been raised that insurgents would take advantage of the political vacuum by trying to reignite the sectarian bloodshed that gripped Iraq for years.

On Monday, state television al-Iraqiya quoted a top security official in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad as saying dozens of insurgents had been killed and 16 detained after clashes in a town west of the provincial capital, Baquba.

The head of the Emergency Response Brigade for the province said the clashes lasted more than 24 hours.

Security officials in Diyala told CNN that the clashes began late Saturday, when security forces came under fire as they tried to enter the area to arrest wanted individuals. Clashes between those believed-to-be members of al Qaeda in Iraq and security forces continued through Sunday, said the officials, who added that the area has been under control of the government forces.

At least three policemen were killed and eight were wounded in the firefight, according to the officials. They said a number of al Qaeda in Iraq fighters were killed or detained, but had no specific numbers.

The rural area is a former al Qaeda stronghold that had been cleared of insurgents in recent years as security forces regained control across the country. Such clashes, common between 2005 and 2007 during the height of the sectarian war, became rare after al Qaeda lost control of towns and neighborhoods across Iraq.