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9 Killed in Car Bomb Attacks in Baghdad

Iraqi police say at least nine people have been killed and several others wounded in two separate car bomb explosions in Baghdad.

The attacks took place early Tuesday morning near the health ministry in central Baghdad and in an eastern part of the city. Officials say insurgents also fired one mortar shell into the health ministry area.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Iraq's prime minister Nouri al-Maliki to express regret for civilian deaths in a shootout involving U.S. security contractors in Baghdad.

Iraq's Interior Ministry has withdrawn the license of the contractor - Blackwater USA - which provides security for many U.S. civilian operations in Iraq.

Officials say Rice told the Iraqi prime minister that U.S. authorities are fully investigating Sunday's incident when a U.S. diplomatic convoy came under attack and its private security escort started shooting.

Iraqi officials say the gunfire killed eight civilians and wounded 11 others.

Iraqi officials allege the security contractors fired randomly. They say the contractors allegedly involved will be referred to the nation's authorities.

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