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Attacks in Iraq Kill at Least 7


Iraqi police say at least seven people have been killed and at least 20 wounded in attacks in and around the capital, Baghdad.

They said the casualties Wednesday resulted from a mortar attack in Baghdad's Fadiliya neighborhood, and from a car bombing in the Abu Ghraib district just west of the capital.

Also Wednesday, the U.S. military said an American soldier was killed in a roadside bombing near a patrol in western Baghdad.

Meanwhile, Belgium's Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht began a two-day visit to Iraq Wednesday, the first such trip by a Belgian cabinet minister to Iraq since 1990.

De Gucht plans to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other senior officials in hopes of developing bilateral ties.

In 1990, Belgium closed its embassy in Iraq after the army of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Brussels has not re-opened the facility. Belgium strongly opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

On Monday, the U.S. military announced that the number of major attacks in Iraq fell about 50 percent in the past month.

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

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