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Suicide bomber kills three Iraqis

Associated Press

A suicide bomber wearing an Iraqi army uniform struck a U.S. military delegation visiting the mayor of violence-racked Baqubah on Monday, injuring at least eight American soldiers and killing three Iraqi civilians.

Police officials said the attacker was disguised as a soldier -- a tactic used before to pass through checkpoints -- but U.S. forces have faced attacks from actual members of the security forces as well.

The Baqubah attack occurred as a group of Iraqi officials, led by Mayor Abdullah Hiyali, waited at the main gate of the municipal building to greet the U.S. soldiers, said Raad Dahalaki, the deputy mayor.

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“When the U.S. soldiers left their vehicles and started to walk toward the building, a man wearing a military uniform mingled with the crowd of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi policemen and set off the explosion,” said Dahalaki.

The U.S. military said eight soldiers were wounded in the blast and three Iraqi civilians were killed. Nineteen people were injured, including two members of an American-funded provincial reconstruction team and three Iraqi police officers, it said. The mayor was not hurt.

Moments after the blast, shots were fired at the U.S. team, the military statement said. Soldiers returned fire, but there were no reports of a gunman being wounded or captured.

Iraqi police officials said there was no immediate evidence that the attacker -- who wore an explosives vest -- was a member of the military.


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