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Bombs Kills 3 U.S. Soldiers, At Least 20 Iraqis

BY Admin  May 21, 2009 at 10:20 AM EST

Shrapnel riddled truck in Kirkuk; AFP/Getty photo

The three attacks also killed at least 20 Iraqis, including
seven members of a U.S.-backed Sunni paramilitary group in Kirkuk that fights
al-Qaida and three recruits inside a police station in Baghdad.

The bombings come just a day after 40 people died and more
than 80 people were wounded when a powerful bomb ripped through a mostly Shiite
neighborhood in northwestern Baghdad. That incident was the first major car-bombing
in the capital since May 6, when a bombing at a market killed 15 people.

Violence in Iraq had been down for the month of May after a
bloody April, when at least 355 Iraqis and 18 U.S. soldiers died.

The Iraqi government and the U.S. military have said the recent
attacks are not as sophisticated as they once were and are isolated incidents
that do not undermine security gains.

While nowhere near the peaks of the sectarian violence of
2006 and 2007, when the average monthly death toll for civilians was well over
2,000, the death tolls last month were the highest of the year, with Iraqi
deaths increasing by some 40 percent over March.

The Kirkuk blast Thursday targeted members of a local
Awakening Council, a Sunni paramilitary with U.S. support that fights al-Qaida.
The suicide bomber dressed in the group’s uniform, attacked fighters as they
were lined up to collect their salaries, the BBC reported.

The attacks in Baghdad targeted both a U.S. patrol and a
police station. The attack in western Baghdad’s al-Mamoun police station claimed
the lives of three policemen and injured 19 people, including eight civilians. Police
said the bomb was planted inside a garbage container – the first time an
explosive had gone off inside a police station.