Seven Iraqi soldiers were killed and 17 wounded when a bomber blew up a truck at the entrance to an Iraqi army headquarters in central Tikrit, 180km north of Baghdad, an Iraqi army officer said.

Three other Iraqi soldiers were killed when armed men attacked their patrol in southern Baghdad, while two other people working in the oil ministry were shot dead in southeast Baghdad.

Samawa protest

In Samawa, at least one civilian was killed and 44 wounded as demonstrators clashed with police during a protest about the lack of jobs and public services in the southern Shia town rife with unemployment, medical sources said.

Violence in Samawa claimed the
life of one civilian 

About 1000 protestors gathered outside local government headquarters in Samawa, 270km southeast of Baghdad. Violence erupted when the crowd started throwing stones at the building.

Samawa is the major urban centre in the area of operations for Japan's military contingent in Iraq.

Two people were killed in Baquba when a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol exploded in the town centre.

Seven Iraqis were killed at Al-Sharqat, 300km north of Baghdad when their bus hit a roadside bomb. The dead included three children.

Baghdad shooting

In Baghdad, three civilians were shot dead when unknown armed men opened fire in an eastern quarter of the city.

Two civilians were also killed in a drive-by shooting in Latifiyah, 40km south of Baghdad.

Nine other people were killed in separate attacks around
the country.

Marine killed

Iraqi army soldiers have been
targeted by fighters

The US military also announced on Sunday that a marine had been killed in a car bombing in a village west of Baghdad on Saturday.

The soldier, assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, was killed in Amiriyah, just south of Falluja, the statement said.

The marine's name was not released. The death brings to at least 30 the number of American service members to die in Iraq since the beginning of this month.

Saddam legal counsel

Meanwhile, the family of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has officially selected a legal counselor to handle all matters related to his case.

A statement signed by Raghda, Saddam's daughter, warned that no other lawyer, except Khalil al-Dulaimi, should represent Saddam, who is currently awaiting trial in Iraq for crimes commited during his rule.

The family statement also said that any new lawyer announced to defend Saddam in the future would be announced by them.