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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 September, 2004, 04:06 GMT 05:06 UK
Iraq suffers day of grim violence
Angry crowds in Baghdad
Angry crowds denounced the US military after the Baghdad car bomb
Dozens of people have been killed in Iraq as the country experienced another day of extreme violence.

A car bomb exploded on Tuesday morning close to an Iraqi police station in central Baghdad, killing 47 people, health ministry officials say.

Gunmen opened fire on a police minibus killing 12 policemen and a civilian in Baquba, north of Baghdad.

A statement said to be from alleged al-Qaeda militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group said it carried out the attacks.

Meanwhile medical officials said 10 Iraqis were killed as US forces and insurgents clashed in the town of Ramadi, west of Baghdad.

Baghdad car bomb

And the US military said three US troops were killed in separate attacks, two in Baghdad and one in the northern city of Mosul, where five were also reported injured.

A series of explosions was heard in Baghdad's Green Zone, housing the US embassy and the interim government, on Tuesday evening.

In other developments across Iraq:

  • An explosion hits an oil pipeline near Beiji, north of Baghdad. Iraq's interim Electricity Minister says power supplies across Iraq are affected, but will be restored in hours.

  • Insurgents sabotage another pipeline 60km west of Kirkuk, halting exports to Turkey.

  • US and Iraqi forces allow civilians to return to the mainly ethnic Turkmen northern city of Talafar, after Turkey threatens to stop co-operating with the US over Iraq unless an assault there ends.

  • Militants release a Turkish translator taken hostage in late July, apparently in response to Turkey's actions over Talafar.

  • Two Turkish truck drivers are taken hostage near the town of Tikrit.

  • Al-Jazeera television broadcasts a videotape showing masked men holding a Jordanian truck driver hostage in Iraq.

Tuesday's attack in Baghdad was the deadliest such attack in Iraq since July, when 68 people were killed by a car bomb outside a police station in Baquba.

Most of the dead in Haifa Street were thought to be civilians. At least 114 people were wounded.

The violence may end when the population of Iraq view the Iraqi administration as legitimate
Marko, Canada

An Islamist website carried a statement purportedly from the Tawhid and Jihad movement, headed by a suspected al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claiming responsibility for the attack.

"A lion from the 'martyrdom-seeking brigade' succeeded in striking a centre for volunteers for the renegade police force," it said.

The statement also said the group carried out the shooting in Baquba.

Crowds of people seeking work with the Iraqi police force were waiting for the police station to open when the car blew up.

The BBC's Mike Donkin in Baghdad says the blast echoed across the city and punched a two-metre (6.5 ft) wide crater in the road.

He says flying shrapnel smashed into a row of shops, fruit stalls and a busy cafe.

Training difficulties

Angry crowds gathered near the site of the explosion, denouncing the US military and the interim government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi for failing to protect police recruiting centres.

Iraqi police forces have regularly been targeted by insurgents, who see them as collaborators with US forces.

An Interior Ministry spokesman told the Associated Press news agency that the authorities were finding it difficult to find safe places to train new recruits.

But there was no shortage of Iraqis ready to risk their lives to defend the country, Sabah Kadhim said.




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