Sixty killed in suicide attacks in Iraq

FIVE suicide attacks in three cities in Iraq killed more than 60 people last week. The bombings are the latest attacks in an escalating campaign of guerrilla violence that has killed some 400 Iraqis since a new government was unveiled two weeks ago.

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By  Rhys Jones Published  May 15, 2005

FIVE suicide attacks in three cities in Iraq killed more than 60 people last week. The bombings are the latest attacks in an escalating campaign of guerrilla violence that has killed some 400 Iraqis since a new government was unveiled two weeks ago. In the strike, a man with hidden explosives set them off in a line of people outside a police and army recruitment centre in northern Iraq, killing 30 and wounding 35. In Saddam Hussein’s hometown of 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 first thought the powerful blast in Hawija, a small town 150 miles north of Baghdad, was caused by a car bomb, but police sergeant Khalaf Abbas later said they later found it was an attacker waiting in a line of about 150 recruits. “I was standing near the centre and all of a sudden it turned into a scene of dead bodies and pools of blood,” said Abbas. “Windows were blown out in nearby houses, leaving the street covered by glass,” he added. Like many other such recruitment centres 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. Insurgents target the centres, 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. A third suicide bomber blew up his vehicle near a police station in the southern Baghdad suburb of Dora, killing at least three civilians. Police said the bomber was trying to reach the police station but his car blew up before reaching the building. Furthermore, a suicide car bomb attack on a police patrol in the Mansour district of Baghdad killed two policemen and a civilian, officials at the Interior Ministry said. Insurgents have also snatched two more foreign hostages — an Australian engineer captured in Baghdad in late April and a Japanese security contractor seized early last week in western Iraq. The captors of Australian hostage Douglas Wood, 63, demanded that Australia pull its troops out of Iraq by last Tuesday. The Japanese hostage, 44-year-old Akihiko Saito, was captured when a foreign security convoy was ambushed in western Iraq on Sunday evening.

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