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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 December, 2004, 20:45 GMT
New blast hits Iraq's Green Zone
A member of Iraq's National Guard secures the site of the blast
Mangled wreckage littered the area just outside the Green Zone
A suicide car bomb attack on a checkpoint near Baghdad's government and diplomatic compound has injured at least 12 people, Iraqi medics say.

Reports suggest a member of Iraq's National Guard died along with the bomber, who struck a day after a similar blast killed seven nearby.

Militants also killed at least two Iraqi policemen when they ambushed a convoy just south of Baghdad.

The police were travelling to the capital from Basra for training.

Other details were unclear with conflicting reports of the location of the attack and what vehicles the police were travelling in.

In other incidents, the bodies of 14 men were found shot dead in the northern city of Mosul.

The US military also reported the deaths of two marines on Monday while Iraqi police announced that they had killed Hassan Ibrahim Farhan, described as a senior aide to militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, on the same day.

Rush-hour bomb

The Baghdad bomber detonated his explosives about 200m (yards) from the checkpoint at about 0820 local time (0520 GMT), unable to get closer, reports said.

A injured Iraqi in Baghdad's hospital
The wounded were rushed to Baghdad's Yarmouk hospital

The blast went off outside the Baghdad Club, a complex which now serves as a training facility for the Iraqi National Guard.

As with Monday's attack, the victims were national guardsmen and Iraqi civilians travelling to work inside the Green Zone during the morning rush-hour.

The heavily fortified Green Zone protects Iraq's interim government and a number of foreign diplomatic missions.

Anyone working there is considered by the insurgency to be a collaborator and therefore a legitimate target, the BBC's Peter Greste reports from Baghdad.

The continuing violence is a grim reminder that official US predictions of the insurgency's imminent demise after Saddam Hussein's capture in December last year are probably premature, analysts say.

Iraq's interim President Ghazi Yawer has blamed the dismantling of the army for some of the current problems facing Iraq.

See footage of the aftermath and clean-up

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