Iraqi officials say bomb blasts near Fallujah and in the northern city Mosul have killed at least four people.
Police in Fallujah say a suicide car bomber hit a checkpoint on the
outskirts of the city, killing at least two people and wounding seven
others. In Mosul, officials said roadside bombings killed two Iraqi
soldiers and wounded four others.
The number of insurgent attacks in Iraq remains low compared to the
violence that engulfed the country in recent years, but commanders say
they expect sporadic attacks to continue.
In relatively peaceful northern Iraq on Monday, Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki visited the town of Halabja, where he vowed to punish those
behind the 1988 poison gas attacks on Kurdish civilians.
He made the vow during the second day of a trip aimed at defusing tense
relations with officials in the autonomous Kurdish region. Mr. Maliki
said the central government will demand just punishment for those
responsible for past atrocities.
More than 5,000 Iraqi Kurds were killed during the March 1988 gas
attack on Halabja by forces of the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
A cousin of Saddam Hussein, Ali Hassan al-Majeed, and three others are now on trial for their role in the Halabja attack.
The late dictator ordered the assault as of part a broader
"scorched-earth" campaign to put down an Iraqi Kurdish rebellion that
was viewed as aiding Iran during the Iraq-Iran war.
Mr. Maliki has held talks with top Kurdish leaders in recent days,
trying to reach agreement on dividing up control of oil and land
between the autonomous Kurdish government and Iraq's central government