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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 July 2005, 21:10 GMT 22:10 UK
Baghdad lorry bomb targets police
Carnage at Iraqi police station

At least 25 people have been killed by a suicide bomber who blew up a lorry laden with explosives at a police station in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

More than 30, mostly civilians, were injured in the blast at about 1450 (1050 GMT) in eastern Mashatal area.

The explosion was so powerful that body parts were thrown onto the roofs of adjacent buildings, said the police.

It was the worst attack since a suicide bomber blew up a tanker last week killing nearly 100 people.

Insurgents have often targeted police in an ongoing effort to destabilise the country.

Giant crater

The police station is surrounded by concrete barriers and the bomb exploded outside the perimeter.

The blast - which came in the middle of a sandstorm - left a giant blackened crater at the scene.

"It appears that the bomber who was driving the lorry wanted to enter the police station, but for some reasons the explosives exploded 20m before the police station," an unnamed interior ministry official was quoted by AFP news agency as saying.

MAJOR RECENT ATTACKS
16 July: Suicide bomb kills 98
15 July: Suicide bombs kill 16
13 July: Bomb kills 26 children
10 July: 20 army recruits killed
26 June: 35 die in Mosul attack
25 June: Suicide attacks kill 23
20 June: Several attacks, 31 dead
2 June: Multiple bombs kill 24
30 May: 27 dead in Hilla
11 May: 70 dead in Tikrit, Hawija
4 May: Irbil bombing kills 60

More than 200kg (440lb) of explosives are thought to have been loaded onto the lorry.

Other cars were set on fire and shops in the area damaged.

Police say most of the victims were civilians, some of them so badly burnt they have been hard to identify.

"The car bomber made a deliberate decision to attack the Iraqi police station," said Maj Russell Goemaere, spokesman for the US 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

Insurgents have repeatedly targeted police stations and army recruitment centres.

On Sunday, the Iraqi government announced it had a new security plan for the entire country but it has not revealed any details and nothing it has done so far seems to be working, says our Baghdad correspondent.

In some areas of Baghdad, residents are trying to provide their own security by setting up barriers on the roads in their neighbourhood to keep outsiders away.

Sunday's attack came amid uncertainty over the participation of Iraq's Sunni Muslims in the committee drafting Iraq's new constitution.

Sunni representatives are continuing their boycott announced on Thursday - two days after three Sunni politicians were killed in Baghdad.

They have demanded an international investigation of the incident.


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