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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 January 2008, 12:24 GMT
Soldiers killed in Iraqi bombing
Iraqi soldiers attend an injured colleague after the blast.
Soldiers had been celebrating moments before the blast

A suicide bomber has killed eight Iraqis, including soldiers, in an attack on Army Day celebrations.

The blast struck outside the offices of a non-governmental organisation in the eastern Baghdad suburb of Karrada, police and witnesses said.

It took place during a ceremony to give gifts to Iraqi soldiers who have been fighting the insurgency.

A second bomb, left in a parked car near a restaurant, killed three people and left 12 injured.

Police have been reported as saying the first blast was caused by a suicide bomber wearing an explosives vest.

Up to 12 people are reported injured, the BBC's Humphrey Hawksley in Baghdad reports.

Witnesses say the soldiers were singing, chanting and waving their weapons in the air when the bomb went off, he added.

The other bomb was left in a car parked outside a restaurant frequented mainly by civilians.

Public holiday

The dead and injured from the two blasts are reported to include soldiers, police and civilians.

Army Day - a public holiday in Iraq - marks the anniversary of the founding of the Iraqi Army in 1921 with its first battalion, the Musa Al-Kadhem and involves high-ranking officers and government officials as well as Iraqi soldiers.

Karrada is considered to be one of the safer districts in Baghdad where life has returned to its shops and cafes in recent months.


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