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Suicide attacks kill 60 in Iraq
Yahiya Ahmed in Kirkuk, Iraq | May 11, 2005 14:37 IST
In the deadliest, a man with hidden explosives set them off in a line of people outside a police and army recruitment center in northern Iraq, killing 30 and wounding 35, police said.
In Tikrit, meanwhile, a suicide car bomb exploded in a small market near a police station, killing at least 27 people and wounding 75, police said.
Three car bombs also exploded in Baghdad, killing at least four, police said. Police first thought the powerful blast in Hawija, a small town 150 miles north of Baghdad, was caused by a car bomb, but police Major Sarhad Qadir later said they later found it was an attacker waiting in a line of about 150 recruits.
"I was standing near the center and all of a sudden it turned into a scene of dead bodies and pools of blood," said police Sgt. Khalaf Abbas. "Windows were blown out in nearby houses, leaving the street covered by glass."
He spoke in an interview from the chaotic scene over his cell phone. Qadir said 30 people were killed and 35 were wounded, including about 15 who were in critical condition.
Like many other such recruitment centers in Iraq, Hawija's is located in a building surrounded by cement walls topped with barbed wire in an effort to prevent attacks by car bombs.
Men often line up outside such centers early in the morning to apply for jobs at a time of high unemployment in Iraq. Insurgents target the centers, and Iraqi security forces on patrol, in an effort to block a key goal of US forces: to one day be replaced by newly trained Iraqi soldiers and police.
In Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, meanwhile, Police Lt. Col. Saad Daham said that security prevented the car bomb attacker from exploding his vehicle in front of the police station, but that the bomber swerved into a crowd of people at the nearby market.
The bomb exploded at 7.15 am, and many day laborers who had traveled to Tikrit from poor areas of Iraq were waiting at the market to be picked up for work at construction sites, Daham said.
He said at least 27 people -- mostly civilians -- were killed and that 75 were wounded. At Tikrit General Hospital, Dr. Faisal Mahmoud said the facility was too small to handle so many casualties.
In Baghdad, three car bombs killed four people and wounded 14, police said. The worst blast occurred in the southern neighborhood of Dora near a police station, killing three civilians and wounding nine, a police officer said on condition of anonymity.
In Yarmouk, an area of west Baghdad, a suicide car bomb targeting a police patrol exploded in Jordan Square, killing a civilian and wounding three policeman, said police Lt. Col. Kadhim Abbas.
In New Baghdad, an eastern area of the capital, a car bomb exploded near al-Darweesh bakery about 100 yards from a police patrol, wounding two civilians and damaging civilian cars parked nearby, said police Lt. Col. Ahmed Aboud. (AP)