Suicide bombers kill 40 in Iraq
* US troops carry out controlled explosion of rigged car
* Kidnapped Iraqi karate association head found dead
BAGHDAD: Suicide bombers struck Iraq on Sunday, killing 33 people and wounding dozens more in three attacks on an army-recruiting centre, a police convoy and civilians, said authorities.
In the deadliest blast, a man strapped with explosives blew himself up at an Iraqi military recruiting centre at Muthana airfield, killing 25 people and wounding 47, said the United States military and hospital officials.
Baghdad’s Yarmouk Hospital confirmed that it had received that number of victims. Hospital officials didn’t rule out that other victims might have been taken elsewhere. The Iraqi Islamic Party denounced the attack, saying “dozens of innocent Iraqis pay the price for these acts that we strongly condemn.”
Separately, a suicide car bomber rammed into a police convoy near Mosul, killing four policemen and wounding three, said police. The convoy was carrying Brig Gen Salim Salih Meshaal, who escaped injury.
In a third attack, a suicide car bomb exploded in Kirkuk, killing four civilians and wounding 15 more, said police. The attack occurred on a highway near a hospital and municipal building.
Also, US troops carried out a controlled explosion on a parked car rigged with a bomb less than 100 meters (yards) away from the first blast in Kirkuk. The second car was intended to cause more casualties as security forces arrived at the scene, said police. A third car bomb was found near the bus station in Kirkuk and authorities evacuated the area while police said they were looking for two other car bombs in the city.
Later, the US military said that two suicide car bombers also killed seven Iraqi customs officials along the Syrian border. The explosions occurred at the Walid border crossing point, said Marine Capt Jeffrey Pool, a spokesman for US troops in the region. He did not immediately provide further details.
Meanwhile, Task Force Baghdad spokesman Sgt 1st Class David Abrams said a roadside bomb struck a US military convoy of six Humvees in al-Rashid district, wounding five soldiers. They were taken to a military hospital in stable condition.
Other violence overnight and into Sunday killed at least 14 others in Iraq, including a Shia family of eight killed in their sleep, a police colonel shot in Baghdad, two other policeman killed in the capital, a security official in Kirkuk and a civilian in Baghdad. Masked gunmen also killed Ahmed Hassan, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, in Mosul, said party spokesman Abdul Ghani Botani.
Separately, the body of kidnapped Iraqi karate association head Ali Shakir was found floating in a river southeast of Baghdad with several gunshot wounds, police and sports officials said Sunday. Shakir (38) was abducted Thursday in Latifiyah. His corpse was found in the city of Kut the following day, said police Capt Muthana Khalid Ali. agencies