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Bomb Blasts, Shootings Kill More Than 20 People in Iraq


Iraqi officials say bomb blasts and shootings have killed more than 20 people in Iraq.

Authorities say a bombing outside a Sunni Muslim mosque Friday killed five people and injured at least 15 others in the town of Khalis, northeast of Baghdad.

The U.S. military also announced that two American soldiers were killed in al Anbar province Thursday due to what it called "enemy action." It did not elaborate.

Assailants in southern Baghdad today opened fire in a bakery, killing four employees. A roadside bomb claimed the life of a police officer responding to the attack.

Three police officers were gunned down elsewhere in Baghdad. Officials announced the discovery of at least 12 bodies dumped in the capital. Those victims were bound and shot in the head.

Meanwhile, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, told the Washington Post newspaper that while Iran is signaling its support for Iraq's stalled political process, its military and intelligence services are backing outlawed militias and insurgent groups.

Khalilzad also said he was especially concerned about Iran's ties to the Mahdi Army, an armed group loyal to radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. He said the group was responsible for many recent killings.

Iraq's political factions have been trying to create a national unity government since parliamentary elections three months ago.

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

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