[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July, 2005, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Bomber hits Iraq army recruits
People leave the scene of the suicide bombing at a Baghdad army recruitment centre
People brave the dangers to attend army recruitment days
A suicide bomber has killed at least eight people and wounded many others at an army recruitment centre in Baghdad, say Iraqi police.

The attacker apparently mingled with the recruits before detonating his explosives belt at Muthanna airbase.

The abandoned airfield serves as an army recruitment centre and has been repeatedly attacked by insurgents.

Iraq's parliament held a three-minute silence at noon for those killed in the latest upsurge in violence.

Wednesday's attack happened at 0930 (0530 GMT) local time as young men were waiting to sign up to the military.

The Muthanna centre was targeted on a recruitment day earlier in the month, leaving more than 20 dead.

With mass unemployment in Iraq, there seems to be no shortage of recruits to the security forces, despite the dangers, says the BBC's Caroline Hawley in Baghdad.

Call for silence

Iraq has been hit by a devastating surge in shootings and suicide bomb attacks in recent weeks.

Wednesday saw four Sunni Muslim members of the committee drafting a new constitution suspend their involvement, a day after the killing of three of their Sunni colleagues.

Two Sunni members of the committee and a third Sunni politician were shot dead as they left a restaurant in central Baghdad on Tuesday.

Separately, at least 13 people were killed after a bus carrying workers to a US base 60km (37 miles) north-east of Baghdad was ambushed by gunmen.

Iraq's parliament decided to hold a three-minute silence after two of the worst attacks in recent days.

The first involved the killing of more than 20 children in Baghdad a week ago, when US soldiers, who were giving them sweets, were targeted by a suicide car bomber.

And, in the second, at least 58 people were killed in an explosion in a petrol tanker near a Shia mosque in Musayyib, some 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, on Saturday.

Newspapers called on all Iraqis to join in the silence.

'World war'

Iraq's national security adviser on Wednesday denied comments by Prince Hassan of Jordan that the country was in a state of "civil war".

Muwafaq al-Rubaie said insurgents were of course escalating their efforts in the run-up to the constitutional referendum and elections planned for later in the year.

He told the BBC's Today programme that a "world war" was being fought on Iraqi soil.

"If we succeed in this war, then there will be democracy, human rights, civil liberties, justice, prosperity, not only in Iraq but in the whole region," he said.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific