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Bombs kill 9 in the latest strikes against Iraqi security forces as US prepares to leave
BAGHDAD (AP) ' Iraqi police and hospital officials say two bombings west of the capital have killed nine people, including eight policemen.
Gunmen attacked a police station Thursday in the town of Karmah, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Baghdad. After exchanging gunfire with the policemen, the attackers withdrew and a car bomb exploded near the police station, killing five of the police officers.
About 30 minutes later a car bomb exploded near a police checkpoint in a village outside of Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad.
Three policemen and one civilian were killed in the second attack.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
BAGHDAD (AP) ' Bombs killed two people in attacks in two major Iraqi cities Thursday in the latest strike against Iraqi security forces as U.S. troops prepare to leave.
In the first attack, a roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi army checkpoint in eastern Mosul, police said. One soldier died in the afternoon blast in the city that was once an al-Qaida hotbed.
Al-Qaida's footprint recently has shrunk in Mosul, located 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, but the Iraqi wing of the terror group remains focused on thwarting Iraq's government and security forces.
Several hours later, in Baghdad, a car bomb killing one passer-by and wounded 17 other people as an Iraqi army convoy drove by al-Mustansiriya University in a Shiite neighborhood.
A Baghdad policeman said 11 soldiers were among the wounded. Cars parked along the street were also damaged in Thursday's explosion.
The casualties were confirmed by a medic at nearby al-Kindi hospital.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.
Violence has dropped across Iraq since the days when the country teetered on the brink of civil war just a few years ago, but deadly attacks still happen nearly every day. Iraqi security forces are often targeted by insurgents trying to exploit weaknesses as U.S. troops prepare to leave the country by the end of December, as required under a 2008 security agreement.
However, U.S. and Iraqi officials are negotiating whether to keep some American troops in Iraq next year to help bring stability to its government and security forces.