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Bombings, Attacks Across Iraq Kill 20 People

27 February 2007

Iraqi security officials say a series of bombings and other attacks across the country has killed around 20 people and wounded dozens more.

In and around Mosul, north of the capital, suicide bomb blasts killed 10 people, including six policemen.

In Baghdad, officials say a suicide bomber struck a market, while an explosives-filled car detonated near a restaurant, and a bomb left in a plastic bag exploded elsewhere in the city. At least nine people were killed.

The U.S. military issued a statement saying Iraqi troops, backed by U.S. forces, have staged raids in the Shi'ite stronghold of Sadr City, detaining 16 people.

The military says the raids targeted rogue elements in the Mahdi Army who were directing Shi'ite death squads. The Mahdi Army is loyal to the radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

The military also says an insurgent attack on Monday in the western city of Ramadi was the work of al-Qaida in Iraq.

The military says 15 people were killed when a car bomb exploded near a mosque in a residential area of the city. The military says the victims included women, children and two policemen.

Also Monday, Iraq's Cabinet endorsed a draft law to manage the oil industry and distribute its wealth throughout the country.

The draft now goes to parliament, and if it passes, it would be a major step in efforts to settle an explosive dispute among Iraq's different communities.

Iraq relies on oil exports for nearly all of its revenue, and most of the oil wealth is in the mainly Shi'ite south and the predominantly Kurdish north. Sunni Arabs, whose areas of central and western Iraq have few proven oil reserves, have been demanding an equitable share of the country's oil wealth.

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

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