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Iraq Transition

Car bombs target hospital, market

Iraqi civilians, politician among those killed

A car bomb Thursday in Mahmoudiya, Iraq, killed dozens of people and left a huge hole outside a hospital.


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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military is blaming a suicide car bomb for a deadly attack on a hospital in Mahmoudiya, 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Baghdad earlier Thursday. Thirty people, most of them Iraqi civilians, were killed, police said.

In addition to the attack, a roadside bombing killed an Iraqi police official in Mahmoudiya Thursday afternoon.

Also Thursday, gunmen assassinated a member of the Iraqi National Accord, whose chairman is Ayad Allawi, the former prime minister with the Iraq Interim Government. An official with Allawi's party confirmed the member as Adnan Khahtan al-Jarah.

The U.S. military said the attack on the Mahmoudiya hospital occurred as Task Force Baghdad soldiers were conducting an assessment on upgrading the hospital. (Watch images of the aftermath -- :52)

In earlier reports the military said 18 Iraqi civilians and six security guards with the Force Protection Services were killed. It said that 30 other civilians and four U.S. soldiers were wounded.

Police, who customarily report only Iraqi casualties in such incidents, said 23 people were wounded. Some were taken to hospitals in Baghdad, police said.

"Task Force Baghdad officials said the target appears to have been the hospital, but the terrorist was unable to penetrate the security perimeter before detonating," the U.S. military said in a news release.

Thursday evening a bomb went off in a crowded market in Hilla, south of Baghdad, killing three and wounding 13 others, Iraqi police said.

Police accused the bomber of deliberately targeting civilians.

The parked car bomb was remotely detonated in the city center, just 150 meters from police headquarters, a Hilla police official told CNN.

The blast occurred around 6 p.m. (10 a.m. ET).

The town, with both Sunni Arabs and Shiites, has been the frequent scene of insurgent attacks.

The bombings punctuated a sober Thanksgiving for U.S. troops on patrol. (Full story)

Two U.S. soldiers were killed when their patrol struck a roadside bomb southwest of Baghdad on Thursday, the U.S. military said. Their names were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The Marines also reported the death of a U.S. soldier from wounds sustained in a roadside bomb attack Wednesday in the town of Hit. The soldier was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

In addition, two soldiers assigned to Task Force Baghdad were killed by gunfire Wednesday southwest of Baghdad, the military reported. The deaths bring to 2,104 the number of U.S. troops who have died in Iraq.

Three attacks within an hour

Earlier Thursday, three Iraqi security officials were gunned down in three separate attacks within an hour, said an Iraqi police official with Baghdad emergency police.

Maj. Muffaq Hassan, an officer with the Iraqi Army, died about 9 a.m. when gunmen opened fire at his car in southwestern Baghdad. His driver was also wounded, police said.

About 30 minutes later, Mohammed Mustafa, an Iraqi police officer with the Interior Ministry, was shot to death while driving his private car to work in northern Baghdad.

About 10 a.m. Ismaiel Mohammed, a police commissioner working with a major crimes unit, was gunned down near his home in northwestern Baghdad, the police official said.

An hour later, three guards for the Industry and Minerals minister were shot to death at the tip of the airport road in western Baghdad, according to an Iraqi police official. They were driving in a car, but were not with the minister when gunmen opened fire, killing them immediately, police said. A bystander was wounded in the attack.

The violence comes a day after gunmen dressed as Iraqi troops stormed the home of a senior Sunni leader, killing him, his three sons and a son-in-law. (Full story)

Other developments

  • Employees of the Arabic news network Al-Jazeera Thursday protested a report that President Bush allegedly proposed to bomb its headquarters in Qatar. The White House has vehemently denied the report, and the British government has warned the media against publishing details of an alleged secret memo on which the report was based. (Full story)
  • A top Iraqi government official urged Syria on Thursday to arrest insurgents who infiltrate its border from Iraq and hand them over to the Iraqi government. Laith Kubba, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, identified the insurgents as religious extremists and warned of increasing insurgent attacks ahead of the December 15 parliamentary elections.
  • The trial of Saddam Hussein and his seven co-defendants is scheduled to resume Monday despite threats of a boycott by the former Iraqi leader's defense team, a U.S. official close to the court said. (Full story)
  • A suspected lieutenant in the Jaysh al-Mujahideen insurgent group was among those captured October 23 in the raid of a suspected safe house in Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, coalition forces said Thursday. Ahmad Ni'mah Khudayyir Abbas, also known as Abu Shihab, oversaw the propaganda cell and was thought to have commanded several mortar and improvised explosive device cells, the military said.
  • CNN's Arwa Damon and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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