Seven killed in Iraq violence

The attacks come with just months to go before all US soldiers must withdraw from Iraq.

Baghdad: Attacks in Baghdad and north Iraq on Sunday killed seven people, including three who died when two bombs exploded as they were playing football, security officials said.

The three youths were killed and 14 were wounded when two roadside bombs exploded as they played football in the Jihad neighbourhood of south Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In the central city of Baquba, 60 kilometres (37 miles) northeast of Baghdad, three policemen were killed and four others were wounded when unidentified gunmen fired at a checkpoint, according to the city`s operations headquarters, which oversees security.

And in Qaiyara, 230 kilometres (140 miles) north of the capital in Nineveh province, a policeman was killed and another was injured when a roadside bomb exploded, a local policeman said.

The attacks come with just months to go before all US soldiers must withdraw from the country, with American officials pressing their counterparts in Baghdad to decide whether or not they want an extended US military presence.

Some 45,000 US troops remain stationed in Iraq, primarily charged with training and equipping their domestic counterparts. All American soldiers must leave the country by year-end, according to the terms of a security pact.

Violence has fallen sharply across Iraq since its peak in 2006 and 2007, although attacks remain common. A total of 177 Iraqis were killed as a result of violence in May, according to official figures.

Bureau Report

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