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Roadside Bomb Kills Iraqi Provincial Police Chief


Roadside Bomb Kills Iraqi Provincial Police Chief

Iraqi officials say a roadside bomb attack in central Iraq has killed the police chief of Babil province and two of his guards.

Officials say the blast struck Major-General Qais al-Maamouri's convoy Sunday near Babil's capital, Hilla. Militants have frequently targeted provincial police chiefs in the country. A roadside bomb killed the police chief of Diwaniya province in August.

Earlier Sunday, a suicide car bombing in the northern city of Beiji killed two Iraqi soldiers near a checkpoint. A similar attack in the oil-refining city on Saturday killed eight people near a police building.

Insurgents have carried out a series of attacks in northern Iraq in recent days, mostly targeting Iraqi security forces and militia groups opposed to al-Qaida. Some militants have relocated to northern Iraq to escape security crackdowns by U.S. and Iraqi forces in Baghdad and nearby regions.

In another development, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called Sunday for the immediate release of five British hostages held by an Iraqi Shi'ite group for the past six months.

Mr. Brown made his appeal after the captors released their first video Tuesday that showed one of the five men and demanded the withdrawal of all British forces from Iraq. The kidnappers did not say what the consequences would be if Britain did not comply.

The four British security guards and one computer expert were seized in May from a Finance Ministry building in Baghdad.

In the capital Sunday, Iraqis held a rally outside Baghdad's heavily-fortified "Green Zone" to demand that senior Iraqi Sunni lawmaker Adnan al-Dualimi be stripped of parliamentary immunity.

The protesters want Dulaimi to stand trial in connection with the discovery of two car bombs near his Baghdad office late last month. Iraqi authorities have said they may bring charges against Dulaimi's bodyguards, but the lawmaker himself is not under investigation.

ENDS

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