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Bomber in wheelchair kills 3 near Baghdad

A suicide bomber in a wheelchair blew himself up Sunday at the entrance to a police station north of Baghdad, killing three people and injuring 18, officials said.

Two police officers were killed and 10 injured in Tarmiyah, about 30 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq's capital, two police officers and a medical official said.

Qassim Khalifa, the head of the Tarmiyah city council, said authorities were not sure whether the bomber really was handicapped or merely using the wheelchair to deflect attention from security personnel.

"Police inspected him but not very carefully as he was handicapped or pretending to be handicapped, so they let him go inside the police reception area where the blast occurred," Khalifa said.

In Baghdad, security authorities were out in force to protect Shiite pilgrims converging from around the country to commemorate the death of Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, a revered Shiite figure. Pilgrims traditionally walk to the twin-domed shrine in the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Kazimiyah, where al-Kadhim is buried.

Sunday morning, a sniper shot and wounded two Iraqi soldiers near Wahda, a mixed Shiite-Sunni village 20 miles south of the capital, a police and hospital official said.

An Iraqi court, meanwhile, has sentenced the widow of a slain al-Qaida leader to 20 years in prison on terrorism-related charges, an Iraqi judicial spokesman said.

Hasna Ali Yahya, the Yemeni wife of Abu Ayyub al-Masri, was convicted Thursday, according to Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar, Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council spokesman.

Bayrkdar didn't provide details on the charges, but a government official said she was convicted of facilitating correspondence between insurgents and preparing explosive-laden belts.

The mother of three has been in custody since the April 2010 joint U.S.-Iraqi raid north of Baghdad that killed al-Masri along with another prominent al-Qaida in Iraq militant.

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