09/14/2004, 00.00
IRAQ
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Bomb against police station

Iraqi minister says terrorism won't stop country's rebuilding.

Baghdad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A car bomb exploded this morning near a police station in downtown Baghdad. According to Health Ministry's sources at least 47 people died and 114 were injured.

The detonation occurred next to a café near the police station and a crowded market as tens of would-be policemen were coming to the station to join up.

Interior Minister Falah Naqib visited the site and condemned the perpetrators stating that their attacks were meant to destroy Iraq. "These powers won't stop the rebuilding of Iraq. There will be no space for the terrorists and the enemies of Iraq," he said.

The attack was claimed by Tawhid wal Jihad (Unification and Holy War), a group led by al-Qaeda presumed leader in Iraq Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi. The same group had previously claimed the abduction and killing of three Turkish hostages.

In the statement claiming responsibility for the attack, al-Zarqawi said: "With God's help, a lion from our martyrs' brigade struck at a centre for the apostate police". The same statement also claimed responsibility for an attack in Baquba (northern Iraq) that killed 12 Iraqi policemen.

In early September an attack near a police station in Kirkuk had taken the lives of 20 people injuring another 36. A similar attack on July 28 killed 68 people at a police recruiting centre in Baluba.

Iraq's electricity minister announced that an oil pipeline near Beiji, 100 km north of Baghdad, was burning. This explains, according to the minister, last night blackout in Iraq's capital. (LF)

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