Bombs rock Iraqi police stations

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The Independent Online

A suicide bomber killed eight Iraqi policemen in an attack on a station in the northern Baghdad today.

Police commander Colonel Ali Amer said 10 officers were injured in the blast in the Husainiyah district.

Earlier, seven police officers were wounded when another car bomb exploded in the western Ameriyah neighbourhood.

Several large explosions reverberated in central Baghdad this afternoon and smoke was seen rising on the east bank of the Tigris River.

The co-ordinated attacks came less than 24 hours after US officials announced the capture of Saddam Hussein.

US officials in Baghdad have warned that the capture could lead to an increase in insurgents' attacks against troops of the US-led coalition in Iraq and their Iraqi allies.

Col. Amer said the explosion in Husainiyah occurred when a Toyota Land Cruiser drove through the razor fence around the building, and detonated next to the gate.

The blast left a deep crater about 10 yards from the entrance to the building whose facade was demolished by the blast.

The attack in Ameriyah occurred just after 8am, when a suicide bomber drove his car into the gate of a police station there, said Captain Brad Loudon.

The vehicle detonated killing the driver and injuring several policemen.

A second car then drove into the compound and was immediately shot at by US soldiers and policemen. The driver abandoned the vehicle and ran into the building, where he was arrested, Capt.Loudon said.

"It was a terrorist operation," said Colonel Jabar Anwar, commander of the station which houses the police force's bureau of criminal investigations.

He said the second bomb, which consisted of a torpedo warhead and a naval mine, was successfully defused.

"Such attacks were going on and we expect them to continue even after the capture of Saddam," he said.