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Ramadi Blast Kills 11 Iraqi Police

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A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle near the restive central city of Ramadi, killing 11 Iraqi police commandos and injured 14 other people including two U.S. Army soldiers, the U.S. military said Friday.

The Thursday evening blast at a checkpoint on the eastern outskirts of Ramadi also wounded nine Iraqi security-force members and three civilians, bringing the list of victims to 25, U.S. Marine Capt. Jeffrey Pool told The Associated Press.

The attacker also died in the explosion near the flashpoint Sunni Triangle city of Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad.

In an eastern Baghdad neighborhood, unidentified attackers killed five female translators working for the U.S. military late Thursday, said police Capt. Ahmed Aboud.

The translators "were heading home when gunmen driving two cars sprayed them with machine-gun fire," said Aboud on Friday. Further details weren't immediately available.

Insurgents routinely target U.S. forces and their perceived collaborators as well as members of Iraq's government, army and police — security forces the U.S. military says must gain better control of the strife-torn country before any major U.S. troop withdrawal.

In other developments:

  • Police found two decapitated bodies clad in Iraqi army uniforms north of Baghdad, officials said. The headless corpses were lying on the side of a road between Baghdad and the town of Abu Ghraib when a passing police patrol discovered them Thursday and brought them to a nearby morgue, 1st Lt. Akram Al-Zubaai said Friday.
  • Iran is quietly building a stockpile of thousands of high-tech small arms and other military equipment — from armor-piercing snipers' rifles to night-vision goggles — through legal weapons deals and a U.N. anti-drug program, according to an internal U.N. document, arms dealers and Western diplomats.
  • Firefighters worked Friday to extinguish an oil-pipeline blaze near Abu Ghraib ignited by insurgents' bombs, said Zubaai, the police official. The conduit connects Iraq's northern oil fields with a Baghdad-area refinery.
  • More than a year after the body of an Iraqi scientist was dropped off at a Baghdad hospital by his American captors, the Army says it has reopened an investigation into his death. Mohammad Munim al-Izmerly had been in U.S. custody for 10 months before his death and had been questioned about allegations he experimented with poisons on prisoners in the days of Saddam Hussein. His family and others suspect he was beaten to death. When his death first came to light in press reports last May, the U.S. military, newly under fire for prisoner abuse in Iraq, refused to answer queries about it.