Security developments

• Baghdad - At least 15 people are killed and 45 wounded in
a mortar attack on the Baghdad neighbourhood of Dora, police and hospital sources said. Police said more people had been hurt in another mortar attack on the Shola area of Baghdad but could not immediately give the number of casualties.

Baquba - Three gunmen opened fire on a crowd of teenage boys playing soccer in a drive-by shooting in Baquba on Sunday, killing two youngsters and wounding five in what a police official said was a sectarian attack.

Hilla - A bomb destroyed a minibus as it was leaving a large bus station in Hilla, 100km south of Baghdad on Sunday, killing five people and wounding three, police said. The blast was caused by a roadside bomb or an attached device, they said.

• Baghdad -  Two US soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad on Sunday, bringing the number of US personnel killed since the invasion in March 2003 to at least 2290. One soldier was killed immediately by the bomb, the US military said, while the second died from wounds after being evacuated to a military hospital.

• Madain - One police officer was killed and two wounded when their patrol was hit by two roadside bombs near Madain, the interior ministry said.

• Basra - Explosives packed into the wash area of a Shia mosque in the southern city of Basra, 550km south of Baghdad, blew up on Sunday, causing minor injuries, police and witnesses said. Police said they suspected three men wounded in the attack were planting the bomb when it exploded prematurely.

• Ramadi - A former Baathist officer in the previous Iraqi government was killed in Ramadi, 110km west of Baghdad, police said.

• Falluja -  Three bodies with their hands bound and shotgun wounds to the head were found near Falluja, 50km west of Baghdad, police said. The killings took place three days ago, according to a medical source.

Political developments

• Baghdad - Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the Shia prime minister, made a midnight televised appeal with Sunni and Kurdish politicians for Iraqis not to turn on each other after Wednesday's bomb at a Shia shrine. The appeal came after a round of phone calls from George Bush, the US president, though Sunni leader Tariq al-Hashimi said he was not ready to end a boycott of the US-sponsored talks.

• Basra - Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr held a rally in Basra calling on Sunnis and Shias to hold joint prayers on Friday. Al-Sadr was speaking several kilometres away from the blast at the mosque in Basra.