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Insurgents Kill 12 Police In Northern Iraq

13 April 2005 -- Insurgents attacked policemen dismantling an apparent decoy bomb in northern Iraq today, killing 12 officers and injuring at least three others.

Police Brigadier General Sarhat Qadir said the incident happened some 15 kilometers northwest of Kirkuk. He said as police were trying to defuse a decoy bomb, a second bomb exploded nearby.

Also today at least two explosions struck U.S. military convoys travelling in Baghdad.

One witness, Ahmad Abd al-Zahra, described one of the attacks: "We were lining up at the gasoline station when a U.S. convoy drove past and then there was a loud explosion. We stepped out of the cars to see what was going on and we saw flames engulfing the fuel truck and we saw two men getting out of the truck running and then a U.S. Humvee drove on the side of the road and took them in. The truck was left burning and we left our cars in front of the petrol station and ran away to a nearby alleyway to watch."

There were few other details about the attacks.

The violence comes as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick made an unannounced visit to Iraq.

Zoellick reportedly visited Al-Fallujah, where he met with U.S. troops. He is expected in Baghdad later today for talks with Iraq's transitional President Jalal Talabani and acting Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari.


For the latest news and analysis on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".