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Attack on Iraqi army checkpoint kills 7

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Suspected insurgents attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint north of Baghdad on Monday, killing seven soldiers, police said.

The attack left two other soldiers and three civilians wounded, police said. It occurred at the southern entrance to Khales, a town about 37 miles (60 kilometers) north of Baghdad.

U.S. and Iraqi forces are conducting operations east of Khales in Buhriz. They've detained at least 30 suspected insurgents.

Elsewhere, U.S. soldiers detained 13 people on Sunday and Monday on suspicion of making and placing roadside bombs in north-central Iraq, the military said Monday.

Nine of the detainees were found near Tikrit based on a civilian's tip to authorities, officials said. Three of them tested positive for contact with explosives, and the group had weapons and ammunition that can be used to make bombs, officials said.

Near Mansuriya in Diyala province, Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition forces detained four others who had bomb-making materials and diagrams, the military said.

Two Marines killed

Two U.S. Marines were killed Sunday during combat operations in Hit, west of Baghdad, military officials said Monday.

The Marines were assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

The number of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war stands at 1,753, according to the U.S. military.

Insurgent bombs kill 30

Bombs in three Iraqi cities killed 30 people and wounded about 75 Sunday, authorities said.

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including five Iraqi police officers, and wounded more than 50 others at an Iraqi army recruiting center, Iraqi security sources said. (Full story)

The blast occurred when a bomber wearing an explosives vest underneath his clothing detonated among recruits.

Recruiting centers are a frequent target for insurgents in Iraq.

Also Sunday, four people were killed when a suicide car bomb went off in the northern city of Kirkuk. A car bomb also killed four in the northern city of Mosul.

New offensive in Anbar

Iraqi security forces and U.S. Marines launched an offensive against insurgents in Anbar province, Marines said. About 600 troops -- 500 U.S. Marines and 100 Iraqi soldiers -- are taking part in Operation Scimitar, which began Thursday.

The U.S. military said Marines detained 22 insurgents in Zaidon, about 18 miles (30 kilometers) south of Falluja.

Anbar province -- which stretches from just west of Baghdad to the Syrian, Jordan and Saudi Arabian borders -- is believed to be a major staging area for insurgents and foreign fighters, many of whom are thought to be Sunni Arabs.

CNN's Cal Perry, Aneesh Raman, Auday Sadik and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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