Four people were killed and five others wounded by two roadside bombs that exploded near two Sunni mosques in the Iraqi city of Baquba as worshippers finished Friday prayers.

 

Police said three people were killed and two wounded in the first bombing, which was next to al-Aqsa mosque, while another civilian died and three others wounded in the second bombing near the Saad bin Mahaz mosque.

Both mosques are in the centre of Baquba, 60km northeast of Baghdad.

 

In the past few weeks, dozens of people have died in and around Baquba in bombings and shootings.


On Thursday evening, unknown attackers destroyed a small Shia shrine in a Sunni-Shia cemetery.

 

The small one-room shrine had three graves - two of the descendents of Imam Ali and one of a judge killed in the 1920s by the British.

 

Aljazeera quoted the US army as saying that a marine was killed in an operation near Baghdad.

 

A spokesperson for the British army said four of its soldiers were injured by an explosive device while on security patrol in Basra, Aljazeera said. One Iraqi was killed and two others were wounded.

 

Two US marines were killed and 22 wounded in combat against "enemies" in al-Anbar province in western Iraq on Thursday, the US military said on Saturday, but gave no details on the fighting.

 

It was the biggest number of American casualties reported from a single engagement in weeks.


Mortar attack

 

In the southern Baghdad neighbourhood of Zafaraniya, mortars fell near a Shia mosque after Friday prayers, but there were no casualties.

 

Five police officers and a civilian were wounded early on Friday when a car bomb exploded at a police station in the northern city of Mosul, police said.

 

The attack occurred at 7am (0300 GMT).

 

Iraqi police are often the target
of attacks by Sunni fighters

Police opened fire on the car, detonating its explosives. The  vehicle was metres away from hitting the main station building when it exploded, police said.

 

The station sustained heavy damage from the blast, and nearby shops were destroyed.

 

Late on Thursday, seven truck drivers were wounded when assailants opened fire on their convoy north of Baghdad, medical officials said.

 

Elsewhere, a group of police officers transporting police vehicles near Baghdad was hit by a roadside bomb, interior ministry and police sources said on Friday.

 

The sources said they feared at least 30 officers were dead or missing after Thursday's attack.

 

Police ambushed

 

The sources said the officers were ambushed by fighters as they headed towards their headquarters in Najaf in southern Iraq.

 

The brother of a senior Sunni
was gunned down on Thursday

A senior Najaf police official, General Abbas Mohammad, said 88 officers were sent to Baghdad to bring the vehicles back. 

At least six were killed, 10 were wounded and 50 were missing after the bombing, which was followed by fighters opening fire on the convoy.


US forces in Samarra have raided the home of Nazar al-Samarrei, a writer and journalist, and detained three of his relatives, Aljazeera learned on Friday.

In Basra, police found the bodies of 11 employees of a construction company dumped at the al-Zubair bridge.


In Kirkuk, assailants killed Marwan Yusif, a police officer, while he was on his way home from work.