Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 16:51 UK

Iraqi cities hit by bomb attacks


At least seven people have been killed and some 19 injured in a suicide car bombing in Iraq's northern city of Mosul, Iraqi officials say.

They say the attacker targeted a convoy carrying an Iraqi general, who escaped unharmed. The victims were his bodyguards and civilians in the area.

Earlier, bombs exploded in the western city of Falluja, killing four policemen and two civilians, police say.

Eighteen people were injured in the two blasts outside a bank in the city.

The bomber in Mosul targeted the convoy of Gen Riyadh Jalal Tawfiq, army commander of the Nineveh province, Iraqi officials say.

"The bomber drove his car into my convoy," Gen Tawfiq told the AFP news agency.

"When my guards tried to arrest him, he detonated his car," he added.

Security handover

Earlier on Wednesday, six people were killed in two blasts in quick succession in Falluja, Iraqi police say.

They say the first blast targeted a police unit guarding a bank. The second bomb went off when a police convoy arrived to help the victims.

Falluja was at the centre of the Sunni Muslim insurgency following the US-led invasion of Iraq, until local tribes turned against al-Qaeda militants.

Officials did not say who was behind the attacks in Mosul and Falluja, but al-Qaeda remnants in Anbar and Nineveh are often blamed for such bombings.

The US military is said to be on the verge of handing security control of Anbar to Iraqi forces.

A scheduled handover ceremony was postponed late last month. Bad weather was blamed for the delay.

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