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Saturday, September 18, 2004 - Page updated at 12:57 A.M.
Suicide bomber targets police
By Knight Ridder Newspapers and The Associated Press
As part of their raid yesterday near Haifa Street, scene of extensive fighting this week, U.S. forces and Iraqi police had set up at least six police cars as a checkpoint to block traffic crossing the Martyr Bridge.
Two people approached and began arguing with the officers to let them through, said Ebrahib Galeb, an Iraqi police officer. At the same time, a white 1980s-model Chevrolet Malibu driven by a man with slicked-back blond hair ran through the checkpoint and rammed into the line of cars.
The suicide bomber then detonated the car, which was filled with artillery shells. Officers began shooting, injuring some of the people in the area, Galeb said.
The attacks continued today, as a car bomb exploded outside the Iraqi National Guard headquarters in the northern city of Kirkuk, killing at least 10 people and wounding 20, police said. The blast tore through a crowd of people waiting to apply for jobs in the force, said National Guard Gen. Anwar Mohammed Amin.
Today's attack was the third car bombing against Iraq's police forces this week. The mounting violence has increased pressure on Iraqis working to restore stability in their country but who are seen as collaborators because of their cooperation with U.S. forces.
U.S. and Iraqi forces arrested 63 people, including Syrians and Egyptians, Interior Ministry spokesman Sabah Kadhim said. Security forces also seized rockets, grenades and machine guns, Kadhim said.
In other developments today:
A roadside bomb exploded in a side street in Baghdad's Karradah neighborhood, killing one person and wounding two, police said.
Mohammed Zibari, a senior official with Iraq's state-run North Oil, survived an assassination attempt after his convoy came under attack in the northeastern city of Mosul, police said. Gunmen fired on the convoy, killing five of bodyguards and wounding four others, police Lt. Mohammed Ali said.
Yesterday, U.S. jets struck sites used by supporters of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Fallujah and killed more than 50 foreign fighters, military officials said.
U.S. warplanes later hit a two-story house in Fallujah that was also allegedly being used by fighters belonging to Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group. A U.S. jet later carried out another strike, firing a missile at a house the military said was a Zarqawi hide-out.
Material from The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times is include in this report.
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