Dozens killed in Iraq car bombing

Blast targets potential recruits outside an army base in the town of Taji, north of Baghdad.

    Military recruits are a favoured target of attacks by anti-government fighters in Iraq [GALLO/GETTY]
    Military recruits are a favoured target of attacks by anti-government fighters in Iraq [GALLO/GETTY]

    A car bomb has killed at least 27 people at the entrance to an Iraqi army base as potential new recruits were massing at the gate, security and medical officials say.

    The blast struck at around midday (09:00 GMT) on Tuesday in the town of Taji, 25km north of Baghdad, an interior ministry official and a medic said.

    The blast struck as troops were leaving the base in Taji, police said, also injuring more than 40 people.

    Nineteen soldiers were among the dead, and several vehicles were damaged, they said.

    Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf, reporting from Baghdad, said that this attack appeared to be aimed at young men attending an army recruitment day.

    "Our police source said that the attack was a parked car bomb, and not a suicide blast," she said.

    The casualty toll was high because the attacker blew up the car while large numbers of soldiers were walking to and from a parking area for waiting minibuses that take them to and from work, officials said.

    They warned the death toll could rise further because several of the injuries were serious.

    This was the second bombing in Taji in less than 24 hours. On Monday, police said a car bomb struck an army patrol not far from the site of Tuesday's blast, wounding eight people.

    Another bombing Monday near an outdoor market in a Shiite neighbourhood on Baghdad's outskirts killed four.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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