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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK
Bomb kills army recruits in Iraq
US soldier in Samarra after its return to government control
US-led forces are set on regaining control of western Iraq
A suicide car bomb blast outside an army recruiting centre in western Iraq has killed at least 12 people.

The bomb in the town of Anah also injured about 25 other people when it went off as volunteers stood in line in the town, near the Syrian border.

It came as more than 3,000 US and Iraqi troops continued an operation further south on the River Euphrates to cut militant supply lines.

They have seized a bridge thought used by gunmen operating out of Falluja.

US planes bombed a house in the rebel city, which is effectively out of the control of the Iraqi government, early on Wednesday.

The Americans said the building was being used by leaders of one of the main Iraqi insurgent groups, the Tawhid and Jihad group of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

In other violence, a roadside bomb killed a civilian and wounded four policemen in the southern city of Basra.

And in the northern city of Mosul, a Kurdish tribal leader was shot dead.

Dangerous region

In Anah, a suicide bomber attacked the would-be recruits, local police and the interior ministry in Baghdad said.

The victims were among a "group of youngsters signing up with the national guard", a policeman told AFP news agency. It is unclear if the bomber was included in the death toll.

AFP said the bombing was the first such attack in the area.

Militants have frequently targeted lines of volunteers hoping to join Iraq's new national guard or police force, seen by many youths as one of the few steady jobs available in post-war Iraq.

Anah is located on the main road to Syria, which has seen a number of attacks in recent months.

There were car bomb attacks last month than in any other month since the war, says the BBC's Caroline Hawley in Baghdad.

Bridge seized

American and Iraqi troops have continued an offensive south of Baghdad for a second day, after taking control of the bridge over the Euphrates.

US marines and Iraqi soldiers arrested 160 suspects, seized a suspected training camp and took control of the Jurf Kas Sukr Bridge, the US military said.

The bridge is believed to be a favoured corridor linking militant strongholds around Baghdad and Falluja with towns further south.

The troops sealed off roads in the area during the operation.

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