As violence falls in Baghdad, Al Qaeda in Iraq is taking its fight to desert outposts and rural villages.
Violence has plummeted and US forces are pulling back, but the year ahead will test the staying power of gains throughout the country.
US forces may stay in the volatile northern city beyond the June deadline for Americans to pull back to bases.
While President Bush traveled to Baghdad Sunday to hail progress, the war is far from over in places like Mosul where US and Iraqi forces still battle insurgents linked to Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Despite attack, Dulaim vows to bar Al Qaeda in Iraq, which it ousted from the town last year.
The blasts took place in Azamiyah – once a hotbed of Sunni-Shiite violence – and may have been an attempt to reignite sectarian conflict.
The American military is handing over control of projects in the troubled province ahead of a US-Iraqi security pact that could reduce the US footprint next year.
Women are believed to be carrying out attacks to avenge the deaths of loved ones, counter depression, or atone for previous actions.