Zarqawi claims Baghdad blast

A group headed by alleged al-Qaida figure Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has claimed responsibility for a deadly car bomb attack in Baghdad.

    General Yusuf is said to be in a stable condition

    The blast on Saturday killed at least

    five people and wounded a senior Interior Ministry official.

    "Your brothers in the Jama'at al-Tawhid and Jihad

    attacked the treacherous apostate the Deputy Interior Minister

    General Abd al-Jabar in front of his home as he was preparing to

    go to his office," said the statement carried on an Islamist web


    The blast damaged the home of Abd Al-Jabar Yusuf, located about 200 metres from the headquarters of the former Iraqi general security service.

    Dawa party

    More than an hour after the blast, Iraqi police were still picking up body parts and putting them in plastic bags for burial. Five cars were burnt out, two of them upside down.

    Thick black smoke could be seen pouring into the air and half a dozen cars were ablaze after the bomb detonated just before 0400 GMT, as residents were leaving homes in the area to go to work.

    Yusuf, one of three deputy interior ministers and a member of the Shia Dawa party, is reported to be in a stable condition.

    Clashes have been ongoing in
    Najaf for several weeks

    On Monday, a car bombing killed the president of the Iraqi Governing Council, Izz al-Din Salim and about six other people near the headquarters of the US-run occupation authorities in the capital.

    Najaf clashes

    Meanwhile, violent clashes have erupted between US occupation forces and members of Shia leader, Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army in the vicinity of the 1920 revolution square in Najaf city, Aljazeera's correspondent in Iraq reported on Saturday.  

    Mortar bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and machineguns have been used during the clashes, injuring four Iraqis, the correspondent said. 

    Rocket-propelled grenades have been also fired at the grand market and al-Rafidain bank in the city, causing extensive damage, the correspondent added. 
    Meanwhile, a car bomb has killed a US soldier and wounded three others in an attack south of Baghdad, the US occupation army said on Saturday.

    The military said the soldiers were patrolling near the town of Mahmudiya, 30km south of Baghdad, when their vehicle was hit by a "vehicle-born improvised explosive device". They did not say when the attack occurred.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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