Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reuters-Suicide Bomber Kills Over 47 Iraqi Army Recruits In Baghdad

photo credit: Mohammed Ameen and Saad Shalash, Reuters
(Story reported by Waleed Ibrahim and Aseel Kami for Reuters News)

(Reuters) - At least 47 recruits and soldiers were killed and 77 wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up at an army recruitment center in Baghdad on Tuesday, two weeks before the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq.
The blast which tore through a line of recruits was one of the bloodiest this year. Tensions are simmering following an inconclusive election more than five months ago that has yet to produce a new government.

Insurgents have been targeting Iraqi police and soldiers as they prepare to take full responsibility for security on September 1, when the United States ends its seven-year combat mission.
U.S. troop numbers will be reduced to 50,000 for a training mission before a full withdrawal planned for next year.

"We were lined in a long queue. There were also officers and soldiers. Suddenly an explosion happened. Thank God only my hand was injured," recruit Saleh Aziz told Reuters Television while doctors in al-Karkh hospital treated his wounds.

The toll of 47 in the attack on an army base near Baghdad's central Maidan square was final and not expected to increase, Deputy Health Minister Khamis al-Saad told Reuters. Some police and army sources said the death toll could be as high as 52, with more than 120 wounded.

The site of the attack used to be the Defense Ministry under Saddam Hussein, turned into an army recruitment center and military base after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

One army source who declined to be identified said there might have been two suicide bombers, a hallmark of Sunni Islamist al Qaeda and its local affiliates.

(click here to read the full story on the Reuters News website)

No comments: