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Girl, 7, among dozens killed in continuing violence

A series of bombings and shootings killed at least 23 people in Iraq on Thursday, including a 7-year-old girl and two college professors.

Iraqi police also found 35 bullet-riddled bodies that had been bound and blindfolded and left in different parts of the capital.

Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, director of the Interior Ministry's national command center, vowed to strike back at the spiraling sectarian violence in Baghdad, saying Iraqi forces will soon launch house-to-house searches to confiscate hidden weapons.

"No house or area will be excluded from this search. All kinds of weapons will be confiscated," he told reporters.

The U.S. military confirmed that another soldier died in fighting Wednesday, raising to 11 the number of American troops killed that day. Another U.S. soldier who was wounded on Wednesday died Thursday.

The 11th soldier killed Wednesday was shot while manning a machine gun nest on the roof of an outpost in Ramadi, capital of volatile Anbar province, according to an Associated Press reporter on the scene.

The deaths followed a particularly bloody weekend and raised to at least 32 the number of U.S. troops killed in the first week of this month.

In Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, a 7-year-old girl was killed when she was caught in crossfire of fighting between insurgents and police, said police Col. Abdel-Karim Khalaf.

Mohammed Haidar Sulaiman, a professor at a sports education college, was killed when gunmen opened fire while he was driving in eastern Mosul, said police Brig. Abdul Karim al-Jubouri.

And in the capital, a drive-by shooting killed professor al-Harith Abdul-Hamid, director of the psychology center at the University of Baghdad, as he was traveling to work, said police Lt. Bilal Ali.

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