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Violence Strikes Iraqi Cities of Irbil, Ba'qubah

(Archive photo) 26 June 2004 -- A car bomb exploded near a college in the northern Iraqi-Kurdish city of Irbil today, killing at least one person. Kurdish officials say some 40 people were wounded.

Elsewhere, a group of armed men including a suicide bomber stormed the headquarters of a major Shi'ite political party in the central city of Ba'qubah. Officials of the party -- the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq -- said that at least one person died in the attack.

In Baghdad, a U.S. soldier died overnight from wounds sustained in an attack on his patrol.

The continuing unrest in Iraq comes in the run-up to the U.S. hand over of political power to a sovereign government at the end of this month.

A U.S. air strike killed 25 people on 25 June in the central city of Al-Fallujah as U.S. forces targeted suspected members of an extremist group led by Jordanian militant Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi.

Al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for a wave of coordinated attacks on 24 June that killed about 100 people.

(Reuters, AFP)