Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

Dozens killed in Iraqi bombings


The aftermath of the attack near the police academy in north Baghdad

At least 32 people have been killed in bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul, officials say.

Two bombs exploded near Baghdad's police academy, killing 15 people, many of them reported to be civilians.

At least another 14 died and 30 were wounded in a suicide car bombing in the centre of Mosul.

Earlier, three people died and a general was seriously wounded in a roadside bomb attack in north Baghdad.

Gen Mudhar al-Mawla was reported to be one of the senior officials handling the transfer of US-backed Sunni armed neighbourhood groups to government control.

Official figures showed that 296 civilians were killed in Iraq last month, 58 higher than in October, partly because of more bombings in Baghdad.

At the same time US military deaths continue to decrease with six US troops killed in November compared to 29 in the same month last year.

'Iran-linked arrests'

In the police academy bombings, reports say the first device exploded in a car parked near the building in the north of Baghdad.

Iraq map

A suicide bomber then blew himself up as police and people gathered at the scene of the car bombing.

A few hours later, a suicide attacker blew up his car, apparently targeting a joint US-Iraqi patrol in a western district of Mosul.

Also on Monday, the US military in Iraq said it had detained four suspected members of an Iranian-backed militant organisation.

The group, Kataib Hezbollah, is believed by the US to act as a surrogate for Iran.

"Its members are believed to be responsible for recent attacks against Iraqi citizens and coalition forces," said a US military spokesman.

Iran denies the US charge that it is responsible for training, arming and funding anti-coalition attacks.

The four detained suspects were picked up in raids in Baghdad's Adhamiya district and in an area just south of Sadr City.

The US says it apprehended 33 Iranian-sponsored militants in November 2008.

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