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Suicide bomber kills at least 25 Iraqis

©

Latest update : 2008-08-26

A suicide bomber killed at least 25 people and wounded 40 when he blew himself up in a crowd waiting to apply to join the police in the town of Jalawla, north of Baghdad.

A suicide bomber thwarted a security check at a police recruiting centre in Iraq on Tuesday and blew himself up, killing at least 25 young people, the local police chief said.
  
The attack in Jalwala 150 kilometres (90 miles) north of Baghdad came after a car bomb in executed dictator's Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit wounded 13 people including four police officers.
  
In Jalawla, in central Iraq, the suicide bomber rushed into a crowd of potential recruits and detonated his explosives-laden vest, killing at least 25 and wounding 40, local police chief Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Khalifa said.
  
The attack targeted a crowd of young Iraqis gathered at the recruiting centre, and most of those killed had been waiting to join up, Khalifa added.
  
Police and defence ministry officials said the bomber had arrived at the building by car and was stopped by police to be checked. But he then leapt from the vehicle and ran into the crowd where he detonated his bomb.
  
Jalawla is in Diyala province, considered to be one of the most dangerous in Iraq.
  
It sees regular attacks by Al-Qaeda-linked groups targeting Sahwa or "Awakening" units of Sunni former fighters who have turned against the jihadists and are now financed by the American military.
  
Awakening groups began in the western province of Anbar when Sunni tribal leaders turned on their former allies in 2006, and since then similar bodies have sprung up across the country.
  
Diyala is currently the focus of a massive operation by Iraqi and US troops aimed at ridding the province of Al-Qaeda elements. The crackdown -- codenamed "Glad Tidings" -- was launched on July 29.
  
In violence elsewhere on Tuesday, a car bomb went off next to the central health department in Tikrit about 180 kilometres (112 miles) north of Baghdad.
  
A local police official, asking not be named, said there were no fatalities, but that four officers were among the 13 wounded by the 7:30 am (0430GMT) explosion.
  
He said there was no indication that police had been specifically targeted by the car bomb.
  
Tikrit, Saddam's ancestral home, was once a hotbed of a Sunni-led insurgency in Iraq, but attacks there are rare these days.
  
The offensive now under way in Diyala follows similar Iraqi military operations in the southern provinces of Basra and Maysan and the northern province of Nineveh, as Iraq forces try to consolidate recent security gains.
  
Fed by the Euphrates and Diyala rivers, Diyala was once the granary of Iraq and the country's orange capital.
  
Also on Tuesday, the US military said an American soldier has died from wounds sustained when his foot patrol came under small arms fire in northern Baghdad.
  
The soldier died in hospital on Monday, the military said, without identifying when he was wounded or giving further details.
  
The latest death brings to 4,147 the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, according to a count by AFP based on independent website icasualties.org.

Date created : 2008-08-26

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