SAMARRA, Iraq: A mother and a child were among ten Iraqis killed yesterday in attacks north of Baghdad, while insurgents dynamited a voting centre, a government building and a police station around the country.
In the latest bloodshed, a married couple and their daughter were hit by a bomb blast that targeted an Iraqi military convoy near Baiji, police added. The mother and daughter were killed. The husband was seriously wounded.
Three teachers from a technical oil college died in a roadside bombing north of the oil refinery town of Baiji, police said.
One insurgent and three Iraqi soldiers were also killed in a firefight in Baiji, police said.
Major General John Batiste, the commanding US general in Salaheddin province, which is considered a potential trouble zone on election day, has identified Baiji as one of his greater challenges.
The US military said American and Iraqi security forces have rounded up more than 100 suspected insurgents since Saturday, ramping up efforts to thwart rebels trying to wreck Iraq's national elections to be held in one week's time.
The detainees included a suspect picked up in Baghdad and billed as one of Iraq's top 10 most-wanted, the US military said.
South of Baghdad, insurgents dynamited a polling station near Hilla in the predominantly Shi'ite province of Babil, police said.
Attackers blew up a school used as a voting centre in the town of Albu Alwan, said policeman Moahmmed Al Ghanem.
An Iraqi soldier was killed by gunmen as he entered his home in Tuz Khurmatu, north of Tikrit, while three other soldiers were wounded in a firefight near Ad Dawr, north of Samarra, where Saddam was captured in 2003.
Meanwhile, rebels blew up a police station in the western town of Hit, police said. US Marines were surrounding the town, demanding the assailants be handed over, residents said.
In the northern city of Mosul, US forces said they had detained 42 people as they battled to subdue the out-of-control city.
Elsewhere, an American soldier was shot dead on Saturday while on patrol in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the US military said yesterday.
The US ambassador to Iraq promised yesterday there will be "elaborate security plans" in place for next week's elections and predicted Iraqis would be able to vote in most of the country.
Ambassador John Negroponte, on US television shows, set a low bar for judging the success of the January 30 poll, however, and dismissed suggestions that victorious Iraqi candidates might force an early withdrawal of US troops.
He acknowledged there was no "absolute guarantee" that all Iraqis eligible to vote would be able to next Sunday.
Former US Army general Gary Luck backs a plan by US commanders in Iraq to change the military's key mission after the January 30 poll from fighting insurgents to training Iraqi force, The New York Times reported yesterday.