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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 July, 2004, 17:59 GMT 18:59 UK
Scores killed in Iraq bomb attack
Two Iraqi men injured in the blast
Dozens of Iraqis were injured in the car bombing
At least 68 people have been killed in a car bomb explosion outside a police station in Iraq, exactly one month after the transfer of sovereignty.

Witnesses said a suicide bomber drove a car into a crowded market area, as men queued to join the police.

Dozens of people were also injured in the morning attack in Baquba, 65km (40 miles) north-east of Baghdad.

More than 160 Iraqis have been killed in attacks since the interim Iraqi government took power on 28 June.

In other violence:

  • seven Iraqi soldiers and 35 insurgents were killed in a joint multinational and Iraqi raid near the town of Suwariya, south of Baghdad

  • two soldiers serving with multinational forces were killed in clashes with insurgents in Anbar province, the US military said

  • a US soldier was killed and three others were wounded by a roadside bomb in north-west Baghdad, the US military said

  • eleven US soldiers were wounded and at least on Iraqi insurgent was killed in an attack on a US army camp outside Ramadi, west of the capital

  • at least one person was killed in a rocket explosion on a busy street in Baghdad

  • an Iraqi policeman was shot dead in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk

Burning wreckage

The latest attack was the bloodiest since a blast in the holy city of Najaf last August killed more than 80 people.

Among those killed in Wednesday's car bombing were 21 people travelling in a minibus, a health ministry official said.

25 July - Clashes with police leave 13 insurgents dead
7 July - Car bomb during memorial service kills nine
27 June - Six national guards killed at checkpoint
26 June - Three die in grenade attack on political party offices
25 June - Three die in police station attack
24 June - 13 die in town amid co-ordinated blasts across Iraq

"I saw a car overtake a minibus and it slammed right into the queue of people," said Riad Abdul Latif, an internal affairs officer at the police station, who was 100m away when the bomb went off.

Police said young men had come to the police station to join the force. Because of the number of applicants, some had to queue outside.

After the blast, police put the dead and wounded in the back of pick-up trucks and drove them to hospital.

Men used hoses to douse the burning wreckage at the scene. Several bodies were also on fire amid the debris in what correspondents said were horrific scenes.

"God bless them, what have they done?" shouted one man.

Security forces have been a frequent target of attacks by groups opposed to the new government and US-led forces. Baquba, a mixed Sunni and Shia Muslim town, has experienced many attacks.

"We are facing people who are fanatic," Iraq's Deputy Foreign Minister Labeed Abbawi told the BBC after the Baquba bombing.

"They will do anything to inflict heavy casualties on our people."

The BBC's Caroline Hawley
"This is the worst attack by militants since the new Iraqi government took over"


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