Iraq blast targets army recruits

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The Independent Online

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in a crowd of army recruits northeast of Baghdad today, killing at least 28 people, Iraqi police said.

At least 47 recruits were injured in the blast at the Saad military camp in Baqouba, 35 miles from Baghdad, a police official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Diyala province around Baqouba has been one of the few remaining violent areas in Iraq after offensives against Shiite extremists in the south and in Sadr City and actions to calm Mosul in the north.

Iraqi military officials said this week that they plan an offensive in the region soon to rein in remaining militants. US military officials have said they will support that effort, which they called an enhancement of existing patrols and actions there.

On 22 June, a female suicide bomber concealing explosives beneath her black robe struck outside a government complex in Baqouba, capital of Diyala province and a former stronghold of al-Qaida in Iraq. At least 15 people were killed and more than 40 were wounded.

A car bomb across the street from the same compound killed at least 40 people in April.

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