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Page last updated at 21:49 GMT, Monday, 2 June 2008 22:49 UK

Nine killed by Mosul suicide bomb

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Nine people have been killed by a suicide car bomb attack in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, police say.

Nearly 50 others were wounded by the blast, which targeted the provincial police headquarters in the city centre.

Four policemen were among those killed as an explosives-laden car exploded near a checkpoint outside the compound about 2000 local time, police said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but Mosul is the last major urban stronghold of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The US military and Iraqi troops launched an offensive to clear the city - 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad - of Sunni militants last month.

Washington says violence against its troops in Iraq is at a four-year low and believes al-Qaeda is on the defensive in the country.

But the US believes the group still retains the capability of instigating high-profile car bombs and suicide attacks in and around Mosul.

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