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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 October 2005, 07:42 GMT
Iraq car bomb kills at least 30
A victim of the blasts in Howaider, Iraq, is treated in hospital
The attack came as people prepared to break their fast
At least 30 people have been killed in a car bombing in a Shia village north of Baghdad, Iraqi police have said.

The vehicle exploded on a busy street in Howaider, about 60km (35 miles) from the capital, near a mosque and market.

More than 30 people were wounded in the blast, hospital officials said, which came at dusk as people prepared to break the day-long Ramadan fast.

Meanwhile US President George Bush paid tribute to US troops killed in Iraq, as eight were reported dead in 48 hours.

Two soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad and a third by a landmine in the town of Beiji, north of the capital, the US military said, in addition to five killed on Friday.

More than 2,000 US soldiers have now died in Iraq.

'Complete the mission'

The attack in Howaider, near the provincial capital Baquba, came a day after a deadline for political parties to register for parliamentary elections in December.

Map of Iraq showing Howaider

Giving his weekly radio address, President George Bush paid tribute to the US soldiers killed and promised that Iraq's elections would create an ally against terrorism.

"The best way to honour the sacrifice of our fallen troops is to complete the mission and win the war on terror," he said.

In what was his third speech on Iraq this week, Mr Bush also focused on Iraqi voters' approval of the country's new constitution and the upcoming elections.

"The success of the new Iraqi government is critical to winning the war on terror and protecting the American people," he said.

"Ensuring that success will require more sacrifice, more time and more resolve, and it will involve more risk for Iraqis and for American and coalition forces."

Iraqi officials said this week that 78% of voters had backed the constitution and 21% opposed it in the vote on 15 October.

The result paves the way for elections for a new four-year national assembly to be held by 15 December 2005, formally ending Iraq's period of transitional government.




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