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Iraqi minister targeted in attack, driver killed

/ Source: The Associated Press

A senior Interior Ministry official and his bodyguard were wounded and his driver was killed Sunday by a bomb planted on his car, police said.

Lt. Col. Mohammed Ibrahim, director of Iraq's police commandos, an elite special forces group, was heading to work when the bomb exploded around 10 a.m. in the Mansour neighborhood, an officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media.

Ibrahim and his bodyguard both survived but his driver was killed, the officer said.

Meanwhile, a mortar round slammed into a street in a northeastern section of the capital, killing an Iraqi soldier on foot patrol, another police officer said.

The attack occurred at 9 a.m. Sunday in the Sulaikh area, police said. Three civilians and another soldier were also wounded in the attack, an officer said on the same anonymity condition.

Drive-by shooting
South of Baghdad, an Iraqi policeman was killed in a drive-by shooting Sunday near Kut, 100 miles southeast of the capital, police said.

In Mosul _ Iraq's third-largest city 225 miles northwest of Baghdad _ a roadside bomb targeting a U.S. military vehicle wounded two Iraqi civilians, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

No U.S. troops were injured, and the incident was under investigation, said Lt. Michael Street, a U.S. military spokesman.

Mosul has become the next likely showdown with Sunni insurgents, who have shifted to northern Iraq to escape U.S.-led offensives in and around Baghdad and in Diyala province, northeast of the capital. Al-Qaida in Iraq is believed to have a strong presence in Mosul.

Iraqi police and military units have been dispatched to the Mosul area, and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said they are gathering for a "decisive" attack on militants.

U.S. commanders in northern Iraq have said the battle to oust militants from Mosul will not be a swift strike as al-Maliki suggested, but rather a grinding campaign that will require more firepower from both the Pentagon and Iraqi allies.