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3 dead, two dozen wounded in Iraq explosions

From Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
updated 12:22 PM EST, Tue February 14, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Four are dead and 28 wounded in violence in Baghdad and Mosul
  • NEW: Among the dead is an army general killed by gunmen in Baghdad
  • Three die and 19 are injured in a car bomb explosion in Mosul

Baghdad (CNN) -- Gunmen assassinated an Iraqi army general on Tuesday in one of several incidents that left at least four people dead and 28 wounded, according to government officials.

Gen. Aziz Hamzah died after being attacked while driving in western Baghdad, Iraqi police said.

In the other incidents, two roadside bombs exploded in Baghdad on Tuesday, one in the al-Mashtal neighborhood of southeastern Baghdad and the other in the al-Bayaa neighborhood in the southwestern part of the city.

Six people were injured in the al-Mashtal explosion, police said. Two suffered injuries in the al-Bayaa bombing

In addition, gunmen fired on a Health Ministry official in the al-Dora district of southern Baghdad, police said. The official was wounded, police said.

In Mosul, about 220 miles (350 kilometers) north of Baghdad, a car bomb exploded Tuesday outside a popular restaurant in the eastern part of the city, killing three people and wounding 19, a health official said.

Most of the dead and wounded were civilians, Salaheddin Thanoon, the head of the health directorate, told CNN. Three Iraqi soldiers were among the wounded, Thanoon said.

The incident happened about 12:30 p.m. on a busy commercial street near the University of Mosul.

The violence comes a day after gunmen killed Saad Abass, the head of an anti-al Qaeda Awakening Council, and his nephew as they drove in Falluja, health and police officials there said.

Saad Abass was the head of the Awakening Council in Al-Karma.

Such councils, also known as the Sons of Iraq, mainly consist of Sunni Arab fighters who turned against al Qaeda in late 2006. The U.S.-backed movement is credited as one of the main factors that contributed to a drop in violence.

Despite such attacks, officials say overall violence in Iraq has dropped dramatically since the peak of the sectarian conflict between 2005 and 2007.

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