Insurgents Target Iraqi Police

U.S. troops and Iraqi police gather around a bomb blast crater left in the yard of a police station in Baghdad, Iraq after a band of insurgents launched an assault on the police station early Monday, June 20, 2005 killing at least eight policemen and one baby, officials said.
A suicide car bomber killed 20 traffic policemen and wounded 100 Monday outside the unit's headquarters in this northern Kurdish city, police and hospital officials said.

Iraq's insurgency appeared unfazed by two massive U.S.-Iraqi military offensives against militant smuggling routes and training centers west and north of Baghdad, mounting attacks that have killed at least 75 in the past two days — including 30 people on Monday.

The bomber in Irbil was wearing a police uniform when he slammed his car into a gathering of some 200 traffic officers during morning roll call in a courtyard behind the headquarters at 8 a.m., police Lt. Sulaiman Mohammed said.

At least 20 died and 100 were wounded, said Dr. Mohammed Ali of Irbil Hospital.

The attack occurred on a main street that leads to the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, which is 50 miles south of Irbil, police said.

Inb other developments:

  • A band of insurgents launched a bold assault on a Baghdad police station Monday, killing at least eight policemen and an 8-month-old baby, police said. At least 23 were wounded. The attack on the Baya police station in southwestern Baghdad began just before dawn and included two car suicide bombs, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire, police Capt. Talib Thamir said.
  • A roadside bomb Monday killed a U.S. soldier on patrol near Tal Afar, 95 miles east of the Syrian border, the military said. The soldier belonged to the 1st Corps Support Command and was not part of the two major U.S.-Iraqi offensives taking part in the western Anbar province.
  • Iraqi insurgents claimed in a Web posting Monday that they killed a foreign contractor working for a U.S. company along with six Iraqis in an ambush west of Baghdad. The militant group Ansar al-Sunnah Army said its fighters attacked a convoy leaving a base near the town of Ramadi, killing the men and capturing two other Iraqis. The claim could not immediately be confirmed.
  • Douglas Wood, 64, the Australian engineer held hostage in Iraq for nearly seven weeks arrived in his home country Monday and apologized for his televised plea for coalition forces to withdraw from Iraq. Wood, who lives in Alamo, Calif., told reporters at Melbourne's airport he supported the coalition forces' role in Iraq. "Frankly I'd like to apologize to both President Bush and Prime Minister (John) Howard for the things I said under duress," Wood said.
  • Syria's security at its border with Iraq remains basic, relying on border guards who lack night vision equipment needed to stop insurgents crossing to join the fight against U.S. forces in Iraq, a British defense official said Monday. Syrian authorities gave journalists a rare tour of border areas to tout improvements in security measures as U.S. forces on the other side battles against insurgents believed to have entered from Syria.