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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

16 Police Killed in Baghdad Blast

BAGHDAD -- A female suicide bomber detonated her explosives belt in a crowd of about 200 police recruits northeast of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 16 people, police and hospital officials said.

The woman walked into the crowd at the main gate of the Muqdadiyah police station, said a police officer at the scene who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

At least 16 people were killed and 33 wounded, a doctor at Muqdadiyah General Hospital said. Muqdadiyah, a mostly Sunni city, lies about 90 kilometers northeast of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, U.S. and Iraqi army forces were engaged in fierce fighting with gunmen in two Sunni-dominated neighborhoods of the capital -- Fadhil and Sheik Omar -- police and witnesses said.

A U.S. helicopter involved in the battle came under ground fire but was not shot down, a senior U.S. military official said on condition of anonymity because U.S. officials were still investigating the incident.

Police said six people, including an Iraqi soldier, were killed and 21 wounded. Repeated artillery fire rang out across Baghdad at midday Tuesday, but the target was not immediately clear.

A parked car bomb exploded at a checkpoint near Baghdad University, killing at least six people and wounding 11, police said. The bomb was packed into a taxi near campus, and all of those hurt were civilians, police said.

A Katyusha rocket hit a basketball court at a boys school in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday afternoon, killing a 6-year-old boy and wounding 17 others -- 15 students and two teachers, police said.

Also Tuesday, the U.S. military announced the deaths of four U.S. soldiers -- three killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad and another killed in combat in western Anbar province.

The three were killed Monday by a roadside bomb and a secondary explosion while on patrol in a southeastern section of the Iraqi capital, the U.S. military said in a statement.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, on a four-day trip to Japan, said Tuesday that there was no need to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from his country.

"We see no need for a withdrawal timetable. We are working as fast as we can," Maliki told reporters.