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Police raised the death toll in a suicide bomb attack on a Shiite coffee shop in Baghdad to 21 on Wednesday, with 25 injured, while gunmen killed at least one man and wounded four in an attack on a Shi'ite bakery.
Tuesday's bombing in the popular gathering place in the mainly Shi'ite northern suburb of Kazimiyah followed days of mortar attacks on Sunni neighborhoods that have killed at least 16 people. The coffee shop attack had originally been reported as a mortar barrage, but police Lt. Ali Muhssin said that was incorrect.
Mortar attacks on Sunni neighborhoods continued unabated, however, with one person killed and four wounded when two rounds slammed into Qahira in north Baghdad early Wednesday, Lt. Mohammed Khayoun said.
US forces said they killed 10 suspected insurgents and rescued a kidnapped Iraqi policeman early Wednesday in a raid near Muqdadiyah, about 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad.
Acting on a tipoff, the troops fought their way into a building, where they found the hostage blindfolded and shackled to the floor. The policement told troops two other patrolmen captured with him days earlier had already been ransomed by their famillies. A sniper rifle, mortar system, bomb making materials and other weapons were found on the scene, the military said.
US troops also said they killed four suspected insurgents and detained 48 others during a raid on Tuesday afternoon in Ramadi, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad. Rocket-propelled grenades, machineguns, grenades and explosives-rigged vests used by suicide bombers were found in a vehicle, the military said.
Fighting involving US forces also left nine Iraqi gunmen dead in Kirkuk, 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, police Brig. Sarhat Abdul-Qadir said, without giving details. There was no word of US casualties in the clash and the American military had no immediate comment on the report.
Two policemen were killed and two wounded when a suicide car bomber slammed into a check point in Baghdad's Palestine Street at about 10:00 a.m (0700 GMT), police Lt. Bilal Ali Majis said.
Police also said they found the bodies of three apparent death squad victims dumped on Baghdad streets, a day after the bullet-riddled bodies of 15 victims were found floating in the Tigris River south of the capital. Hundreds of such killings - in which victims are bound hand and feet, blindfolded, and often tortured - have been recorded since the bombing of a Shi'ite shrine in February that ignited successive waves of sectarian killings.
Bakeries are the frequent target of sectarian attacks because most are owned and run by Shiites. Police Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razaq said there was no immediate word on the identities of the gunmen in Wednesday's attack in a predominantly Sunni section of western Baghdad. He said they sped away in two cars after raking the bakery with machine gun fire.
One person was killed and six wounded when car bomb detonated early Wednesday near the al-Nidaa Sunni mosque in Waziriyah, northeast Baghdad, police Lt. Thaer Mahmoud said.
Shi'ite militia also raided a Sunni mosque in western Baghdad, police 1st Lt. Maitham Abdul Razzaq said. He said he had no word on any resulting casualties.