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Last Updated: Friday, 25 March, 2005, 20:42 GMT
Car bomber kills Iraqi commandos
Eleven Iraqi special police commandos have been killed in a suicide car bombing at a joint US-Iraqi checkpoint in Ramadi, west of Baghdad.

At least 14 other people, including two US soldiers, were injured in the attack on Thursday night in the east of the town, 110km (68 miles) from Baghdad.

A suicide bomb in Iskandariya, south of Baghdad, killed at least four Iraqi troops on Friday.

Five women were shot also dead when their car came under fire in Baghdad.

US military officials said all five women - three of them sisters - worked at an American military base.

Insurgents have frequently targeted Iraqis working for the US military.

Targets

In Baghdad on Friday, gunmen shot dead a senior Iraqi military official, Col Salman Muhammad Hassan, as he left a funeral service at a mosque.

The BBC's Andrew North in Baghdad says the latest attack in Ramadi comes after something of a lull in insurgent activity, but amid uncertainty over Iraq's future political leadership.

Checkpoints were set up at entrances to the town last month to stop insurgents entering and carrying out attacks.

But the barriers have increasingly become a focus for suicide bombers as other targets become harder to reach.

Negotiations between the political parties over the shape of the new Iraqi government have dragged on since the national election nearly two months ago.

Tuesday saw Iraqi special forces, backed by US troops, kill dozens of insurgents in a raid on a training camp near the city of Tikrit.

A 240-strong Iraqi commando unit was engaged in heavy fighting before seizing the camp, 160km (100 miles) north-west of Baghdad.




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