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Iraq Reports 55 Dead in Car Bombing Near Shi'ite Shrine in Karbala

  • VOA News

Iraqi officials say a car bomb attack in the southern city of Karbala has killed at least 55 people.

An official with the Karbala health department says scores of other people were wounded in the Saturday evening blast near a shrine holy to Shi'ite Muslims.

A car bomb blast in the same area two weeks ago killed more than 40 people.

Elsewhere in Iraq, the US military says a suicide truck bomber killed 15 people at a police chief's home in al Anbar province on Friday.

The military says the attack in the town of Hit killed nine members of the Iraqi security forces and six civilians, but that the police chief survived.

In other news, the US military says coalition forces captured 17 suspects in a series of overnight raids targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq. It says those detained include the alleged intelligence officer of the terror group.

The military also says four people were detained on Saturday in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood in an operation targeting a terror training cell.

Meanwhile, radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has criticized President Bush for refusing to withdraw American troops from Iraq. In a statement read in parliament by lawmaker Liqaa al-Yassin, al-Sadr called Mr. Bush stubborn for refusing demands from US lawmakers for a timetable for a pull-out.

Also today, about 200 Iraqis gathered at the grave of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to mark his birthday. Saddam was hanged in December for crimes against humanity.

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