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Insurgents Attack Government Compound in Iraqi Town, 16 Killed


Insurgents in Iraq have attacked a government compound north of Baghdad, killing at least 18 policemen and freeing more than 30 prisoners.

Police say about 100 heavily armed insurgents stormed the compound in Muqdidiya early this Tuesday morning. They set fire to the police headquarters building and also attacked a courthouse.

Police say at least 15 insurgents were killed in the ensuing gunbattle with security forces.

The insurgents detonated a string of roadside bombs as they fled before U.S. and Iraqi army reinforcements arrived.

Elsewhere, in Baquba, north of Baghdad, at least one policeman died from a roadside bomb.

And the U.S. military says an American soldier patrolling in Baghdad was killed by small arms fire.

In the Iraqi capital, members of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee met with Iraq's interim prime minister, Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, who says he hopes a national unity government will be formed by April. Iraq's political factions have been trying to form a unity government since elections three months ago.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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