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Attacks across Iraq leave 10 dead

BAGHDAD — A series of attacks in Iraq killed 10 people Sunday, including a Sunni candidate running in the upcoming provincial elections.

The attacks against security forces and a provincial election candidate came as the country is preparing for the first vote since the US withdrawal. In the April 20 elections, Iraqis are to choose provincial governing councils.

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The most serious attack came at night near the northern city of Mosul, when a body that had been left booby-trapped and left in the street exploded among a group of policemen who were trying to inspect it. Police said that five officers were killed.

Hours earlier, police said that Najam Saeed, a Sunni candidate in the provincial elections, was killed when a roadside bomb hit his convoy near Muqadiyah, a town 55 miles north of Baghdad. The blast was followed by shooting between gunmen and the candidate’s bodyguards.

Two of Saeed’s brothers were killed, and the candidate’s son and three bodyguards were wounded in the attack. At least 13 other candidates have been killed in attacks ahead of the election, some apparently by political opponents and others by Islamist militants, officials said.

In the western city of Fallujah, police said a roadside bomb hit a police patrol, killing two security officers.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

Violence has ebbed in Iraq since the peak of Sunni-Shi’ite fighting in 2006 and 2007, but insurgent attacks are still frequent.

Also Sunday, an Iraqi aviation official said authorities ordered a Damascus-bound Syrian plane crossing Iraqi airspace to land for inspection, but no weapons were found.

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