A roadside bomb targeting a security patrol Tuesday night killed a policeman and wounded another officer and a passer-by in Saddam Hussein's hometown, officials said, in the latest strike against Iraqi forces as U.S. troops prepare to leave.
Ambulances raced to the scene after the blast hit central Tikrit, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad. The city has suffered some of Iraq's bloodiest attacks this year, including a March hostage siege on a government compound that killed 57 and a January suicide bombing that left 65 police recruits dead.
Salahuddin provincial health director Dr. Raied Ibrahim said the one of the policemen died about an hour after the explosion. The other was rushed to Tikrit hospital.
The casualties were confirmed by Mohammed al-Asi, spokesman for Salahuddin's governor.
The blast came hours after a pair of bombs in Baghdad killed an Iraq government official and wounded four people. Security and government officials are favorite targets for insurgents, who seek to undermine Iraq's stability as U.S. forces head home at the end of 2011 as required under a security agreement.
U.S. and Iraqi officials are considering whether to let some American troops stay behind to help bolster the nation's fragile security.
Baghdad police said Salam Abdullah Ibrahim, the director general of a state-owned cement company, was killed around 9 a.m. as he drove to work in the capital's east by a bomb planted on his car.
An hour later, a convoy carrying Baghdad provincial councilman Yasin al-Janabi hit a roadside bomb in western Baghdad. Al-Janabi, a Sunni, and three of his guards were wounded in that blast.
The casualties were confirmed by a medic at Baghdad's al-Yarmouk hospital.