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Bombings, Shootings Kill 27 in Iraq


Iraqi officials say bombings and shootings have killed at least 27 people and wounded more than 60 across Iraq, with most of the casualties in Baghdad.

Officials say several car bombs exploded in the Iraqi capital Monday, striking a gas station in the al-Saidiyah district, a garage in the Nahda district, and near a children's hospital in the al-Sinaa district. About 20 people were killed in the blasts.

The U.S. military says U.S. and Iraqi forces will begin a new security sweep of Baghdad within days. The Iraqi general in charge of the offensive was due to open a command center in the capital today.

Elsewhere, the British military says a British soldier was killed today when a roadside bomb exploded near the U.S. consulate in Basra.

In another development, two senior members of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's movement were killed Sunday in separate incidents.

Iraqi officials say Ali Khazim, the leader of Sadr's political organization in Diyala province was killed when U.S. and Iraqi forces raided his home in the village of Howaider near the town of Baquba.

In the other incident, gunmen killed Khalil al-Maliki, a local leader of Sadr's Mahdi Army militia in a drive-by shooting in Basra.

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

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