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Gunmen Attack Iraqi Provincial Council, Killing At Least Seven


Insurgents attacked a provincial government compound in central Iraq today, killing at least seven people before U.S.-assisted Iraqi forces regained control of the building.

The attack took place in Baquba, some 60 kilometers northeast of Baghdad. Baquba is the capital of Diyala province. At least 17 people were reported wounded in the attack.

Witnesses and local officials said at least five gunmen stormed the main gate after a car bomb exploded and a suicide bomber blew himself up. A second suicide bomber detonated his explosives while the gunmen clashed with police.

It was not immediately clear whether all the attackers were killed in the fighting.

The U.S. military said in a statement that U.S. forces had provided only observation support from helicopters.

Diyala was once a stronghold of al-Qaeda and though unrest has declined, it remains one of Iraq's most volatile regions.

In a similar attack in March -- claimed by Al-Qaeda -- gunmen attacked a provincial government building in the town of Tikrit, northwest of Baghdad, killing at least 58 people.

compiled from agency reports