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Last Updated: Monday, 25 April, 2005, 00:39 GMT 01:39 UK
Iraqis killed in market attacks
Doctor comforts man injured in Tikrit bombing
The Tikrit bombers targeted a police academy and an army office
At least 16 people have been killed in twin bombings in a market near a mosque in a Shia area of Baghdad, police say.

Some 50 more were wounded in the explosions near the Ahl al-Beit mosque in Shula, in the north of the Iraqi capital at about 2040 (1640 GMT).

The blasts came hours after a similar double bombing on a police academy in Tikrit in northern Iraq, which killed at least six people and wounded 33.

Attacks have increased after a relative lull following January's elections.

The market was hit by the first blast from a roadside bomb shortly after nightfall when the area was busy with people enjoying the relative cool after a hot day, reports the BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad.

"A bomb exploded and, when people ran out near the Hussayniah al-Beit mosque, a car driven by a suicide bomber ploughed into them," an interior ministry official told AFP news agency.

Local hospitals are inundated with casualties, some of whom said they had been by an ice-cream shop when the first bomb went off.

The attack was the second near a Baghdad mosque in three days. At least 12 people died in a car bombing at al-Subeih mosque in the east of the city during Friday prayers.

Police targeted

The earlier blasts in Tikrit came within 20 minutes of each other, police said.

Map of Iraq indicating location of Tikrit and Baghdad
A suicide bomber crashed his vehicle into the gate of a police academy where recruits had gathered before going off to a training course in Jordan.

Then a second bomber attacked while rescuers were trying to cope with the aftermath.

Police said about a metric ton of explosives was used in the attack in the home town of former leader Saddam Hussein.

The dead included four police and two civilians, police and hospital doctors said. Most of the wounded were policemen.

In other developments:

  • a gun battle between police and insurgents in Baquba, 60km (35 miles) north-east of Baghdad wounds two policemen and one militant, police tell the Associated Press news agency

  • more than 150,000 Iraqi security forces have been trained and equipped, and for the first time, the Iraqi army, police, and security forces outnumber US forces in Iraq, President George W Bush says.



SEE ALSO:
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23 Apr 05 |  Middle East


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