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22 killed in Iraqi violence

At least 22 people are killed and another 25 wounded in ongoing violence hitting the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Baquba.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Baghdad
UPDATED ON MAY 15, 2007 09:29 AM IST

At least 22 people were killed and another 25 wounded in ongoing violence hitting the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Baquba, sources said on Tuesday.

In Baghdad's southern Zafaraniyah district an explosive charge detonated near a police patrol, killing two Iraqis and wounding 14 others. Among the wounded were a number of police officers.

The US military said that a massive manhunt was underway for three US soldiers missing since insurgents ambushed their convoy on Saturday.

"We are doing everything we can to find these brave and courageous soldiers," Major General William Caldwell, spokesman for coalition forces in Iraq, said in a video message.

Caldwell said about 4,000 US troops, supported by aircraft and intelligence units, were involved in the search efforts about 30 km south of Baghdad, where the convoy of seven US soldiers and an Iraqi army interpreter was ambushed on Saturday.

Four US soldiers and the Iraqi soldier were killed in the attack, and the three remaining soldiers were taken by what is believed to be an affiliate of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Caldwell said.

Iraqi police sources also said that another bomb explosion struck a US army patrol, killing three servicemen and destroying a Hummer- type vehicle. The US military had no comment.

Earlier in Baghdad, around 13 Iraqis were killed and four wounded when two car bombs detonated on Monday in separate areas of the city, authorities said.

In one incident, 12 people lost their lives when a car bomb parked in a garage in Karada district blew up creating the blast that additionally wounded four people and damaged nearby cars and buildings.

In the second incident, an Iraqi was killed and three were wounded in Palestine Street, in the capital's east.

Violence continued on Monday in Baquba, the capital of Iraq's north-eastern Diyala province, leaving at least four people dead and four others wounded after a deadly attack on a police station, police sources said.

According to authorities, a group of armed men stormed a local police station, killing three police officers and a civilian, and wounding four other people.

The police source said the gunmen fled as members of the Iraqi Army responded.

In another development, seven militants were killed and 111 militants were rounded-up in security operations during the last 24 hours in Baghdad, an Iraqi military statement said.

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