Suicide Bombers Hit Iraqi Police Headquarters, Kill Chief

By Sinan Salaheddin | December 29, 2010 | 6:10 AM EST

Baghdad (AP) - Three suicide bombers on Wednesday attacked Iraq's federal police headquarters in the northern city of Mosul, killing the commander, according to police officals.

While violence has subsided significantly in Iraq in the past years, insurgents frequently target the country's government institutions and security forces in an effort to destabilize the U.S.-backed Iraqi authorities as American troops prepare to leave by the end of next year.

Police in Mosul, a former al-Qaida stronghold located 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, said three men with explosive vests assaulted the compound housing Iraq's 1st Battalion of the National Police early Wednesday morning.

Police shot one of the bombers as the three approached the complex, while the other two managed to get inside and blow themselves up, killing Lt. Col. Shamil Ahmed, officals said.

A hospital official confirmed the fatality, but there was no word on the injured.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Suicide bombers have been al-Qaida's most lethal weapon in Iraq, killing hundreds of civilians and members of Iraq's security forces.

On Monday, two suicide bombers blew themselves up in front of a government office in Iraq's provincial capital of Ramadi in the western Anbar province, killing nine people and wounding dozens.

In a separate incident Wednesday, five civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb hit an Iraqi police patrol in eastern Baghdad, police and hospital officals said.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.