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Car Bombings Kill Dozens In Iraq

A suicide bomber killed at least 20 people and wounded 17 others on Monday in the northwestern city of Tal Afar, as violence around Iraq claimed at least 43 lives, police said. Five bodies were also found around Iraq.

Two suicide car bombers attacked a police station on Monday in the capital of Iraq's restive Anbar province, killing at least two police officers and injuring 26 people, the Interior Ministry said.

The al-Arabiya and al-Jazeera television channels, however, reported that 13 people had been killed in the blast in the western part of Ramadi, the provincial capital.

The ministry said 18 of the 26 injured were police officers.

No further details were immediately available. U.S.-led Coalition forces said they were looking into the report.

In other developments:

  • A former Kurdish rebel testified at Saddam Hussein's trial Monday he temporarily lost his sight in a chemical weapons attack by Saddam's forces nearly two decades ago. Karawan Abdellah said he still lives in "pain and suffering" from the March 1988 attack, when Iraqi warplanes raided Kurdish guerrilla positions in the village of Shanakhesiya in northern Iraq.
  • Tribes in one of Iraq's most volatile provinces have joined together to fight the insurgency in their region, and have called on the government and the U.S.-led military coalition for weapons, a prominent tribal leader said Monday.

    Tal Afar police chief Brig. Sabah Hamidi said that a man wearing an vest loaded with explosives blew himself up in an open-air market just before dark. There were no Iraqi or U.S.-led security forces in the area at the time. No other details were immediately available.

    In other violence, three Iraqi army soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb that targeted their patrol in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of the capital. A gunman on a motorcycle killed a woman and a group attacked a family in their home, killing two brothers.

    In Muqdadiyah to the northeast, an armed group killed two civilians.

    In southern Basra, police found the body of Lt. Col. Fawzi Abdul Karim al-Mousawi, chief of the city's anti-terrorism department. Al-Mousawi had been kidnapped late Sunday in front of his house by a group of armed men in two cars. He had been handcuffed and shot seven times.

    Gunmen also killed a former member of the defunct Baath Party in Hillah, south of Baghdad.

    In the capital, police found the bodies of three men who had been bound, blindfolded and shot in the head.

    The violence came as the government was preparing to announce new security measures for Baghdad ahead of Ramadan, which is expected to start on Sept. 24.

    Mohammed al-Askari, a Defense Ministry spokesman, told the AP the measures would be adopted two or three days before the holy month begins to "protect citizens from terrorists attacks during this month."

    Security measures could include a series of trenches and berms the government has said it plans to help secure Baghdad. As part of the plan, vehicle and pedestrian traffic would be restricted to just 28 entry points with manned checkpoints. The berms and trenches would funnel vehicle traffic to those 28 checkpoints.

    Tribal leaders and clerics in Ramadi, the capital of the violent Anbar province, met last week and have set up a force of about 20,000 men "ready to purge the city of these infidels," Sheik Fassal al-Guood, a prominent tribal leader from Ramadi, told the Associated Press, referring to the insurgents.

    "People are fed up with the acts of those criminals who take Islam as a cover for their crimes," he said. "The situation in the province is unbearable, the city is abandoned, most of the families have fled the city and all services are poor."

    Al-Guood said 15 of the 18 tribes in Ramadi "have sworn to fight those who are killing Sunnis and Shiites and they established an armed force of about 20,000 young men ready to purge the city from those infidels."

    He said they had asked the Iraqi government and the U.S.-led coalition "to back them with modern weapons and cars because the terrorists have weapons more modern than their rifles."

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