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61 killed in bomb attack on Iraqi army

[ 2010-08-18 13:38]     字号 [] [] []  
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A suicide bomber struck a crowded army recruitment center in Baghdad killing 61 people on Tuesday, officials said, as violence coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan raged across Iraq.

The attack, the deadliest this year, wounded at least another 100 people and came a day after Iraq's two main political parties suspended talks over the formation of a new government and as the US withdraws thousands of its soldiers from the country.

The massive morning blast took place just outside a military headquarters. The site receives about 250 new recruits each week, as Iraq's security forces try to bolster their ranks ahead of the US military's withdrawal.

Witnesses said the bomber, who was notably fair haired, had been mingling with as many as 1,000 recruit hopefuls when he walked up to an army officer who was checking identifications and blew himself up.

The recruits had been assembling since before dawn in an open and unprotected area.

Iraqi military spokesman Major General Qassim al-Moussawi blamed al-Qaida in Iraq for enlisting the bomber.

Insurgents have been stepping up attacks in recent weeks, highlighting the Iraqi government's struggle to protect the nation. Iraqi army, police and other security forces have been targeted, but civilians also have been killed by the hundreds.

Last month, 43 people were killed in a bombing which struck a wages queue of members of a government-run militia used to combat al-Qaida in Sunni areas of the country.

The explosion on Tuesday, two weeks before the United States army formally hands over remaining frontline functions to the Iraqi security forces, was the most lethal single attack in the country this year.


1. What is the Muslim holy month?

2. How many people died in the bombing?

3. How long before the US hand over power to the Iraqi security force?


1. Ramadan.

2. 61.

3. Two weeks.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

61 killed in bomb attack on Iraqi army

61 killed in bomb attack on Iraqi army

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China daily for one year.