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21 killed in two days of attacks in Iraq
Updated: 2004-03-28 11:04

Rebel rockets slammed into a government building in the northern city of Mosul on Saturday, killing two civilians and wounding 14 others. An explosion rocked central Baghdad in a roadside bomb attack on a convoy, wounding five Iraqis.

The Mosul attack brought to 21 the number of people killed in two days of explosions and shootings across the country.

The rocket launcher was hidden in a wooden cart that was wheeled up to a blast wall surrounding the three-story main government building, said Mosul police Sgt. Jassim Mohammed.

In the country's south Saturday, a gunman shot and killed the Iraqi driver of a civilian truck carrying supplies to Japan's military, Japan's Kyodo News agency said. The attack was an apparent robbery attempt, it said.

Japan's Defense Agency said a civilian truck hired to transport supplies to Japanese troops in Samawah had been attacked. Tokyo has about 1,000 naval, air, and ground forces in Iraq to help with reconstruction.

In central Baghdad Saturday, a bomb exploded on a street as a convoy of sport utility vehicles passed, wounding five Iraqis, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Peter Jones said. It was not clear who was in the cars. U.S. troops sealed off the area after the blast.

Fighting Friday in the city of Fallujah, about 35 miles west of Baghdad, left one U.S. Marine dead and seven wounded, a U.S. spokesman in Baghdad said. The Marines and Iraqi insurgents fought for hours in the alleys of the city, which has resisted American efforts to pacify it since the ouster of Saddam Hussein a year ago.

The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force issued a statement saying it was "conducting offensive operations ... to foster a secure and stable environment for the people." It went on to say that "some have chosen to fight. Having elected their fate, they are being engaged and destroyed."

A freelance cameraman for ABC television, Burhan Mohammed Mazhour, 34, was shot in the head and killed while taping the clashes. It was unclear who killed him.

Four other Iraqis were killed and six wounded in the fighting, said Diyaa al-Jumailee, a doctor at Fallujah hospital. Witnesses said the dead included a shop owner, a customer and two bystanders.

This week, Marines took over authority in Fallujah and surrounding areas from the U.S. Army. The city on the banks of the Euphrates River is in the so-called Sunni Triangle, where support for Saddam was strong and rebel attacks on American forces are frequent.

Earlier Friday, four members of the U.S.-trained Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, or ICDC, also were killed while raiding a hide-out near Saddam's hometown of Tikrit along with U.S. soldiers, the American military said. Three suspected rebels also died and 21 were captured in the raid.

In the town of Shwan, near the northern city of Kirkuk, four people going to a wedding died when the vehicles they were riding in struck an anti-tank mine. The explosion injured 12 other people, police said.

Gunmen shot and killed an Iraqi police officer late Friday while he was walking home in Kirkuk, Fhadila Rashid, an official at the city's morgue, said Saturday.

Also Friday, Time magazine said Omar Hashim Kamal, an Iraqi translator who worked in its Baghdad bureau, died of wounds sustained Wednesday. Kamal was shot by unidentified assailants.

A U.N. electoral team, which will look at technical aspects of selecting Iraq's interim government in the lead-up to the June 30 transfer of sovereignty, arrived in Baghdad on Friday. The team, which includes security personnel, is led by Carina Perelli, a U.N. expert on Iraq, spokesman Fred Eckhard said in New York. A second U.N. delegation, headed by top envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, is expected in early April.

The team is expected to hold informal meetings with members of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council on Saturday, council member Mahmoud Othman said.

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