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Bombings Kill at Least 3 in Baghdad


Bombings have killed at least three people in the Baghdad area, the first such violence since U.S. troops withdrew from Iraqi cities.

Authorities say a roadside bomb struck an Iraqi army patrol in the capital Thursday, killing an Iraqi soldier and wounding at least eight others.

Officials say at least two people were killed and 15 others wounded in a car bombing south of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, police in the northern city of Kirkuk said gunmen shot and killed an Iraqi army officer near his home.

Violence in the northern city has surged in recent weeks. On Tuesday, a bombing at a Kirkuk market killed 33 people.

U.S. troops pulled out of Iraqi urban areas on Tuesday. A spokesman for Iraq's Defense Ministry, Mohammed al-Askari, told reporters Thursday the first phase of implementing the U.S. withdrawal timetable concluded peacefully without any problems.

The Defense Ministry spokesman said the next step is to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq.

The troop withdrawal is part of a U.S.-Iraq security deal that sets a timeline for the pullout of all U.S. forces by the end of 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by September of next year, leaving only advisors and trainers.

At present, about 130,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq to conduct combat duties outside cities, and to advise Iraqi forces within cities.


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



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