Tue, Jul 27, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Mosul suicide attack kills three, injures six others

FLARE-UP The latest bombing came on a day of abuctions and killings, and as new videos of militants issuing demands were aired on al Jazeera

AP , BAGHDAD

A suicide bomber detonated a car filled with explosives, mortars and rockets yesterday near the gates of a US base in the northern city of Mosul, killing an Iraqi guard, a woman and a child, the military said. Three American soldiers were injured by the blast.

A militant group, meanwhile, released a video on pan-Arab TV station al Jazeera saying it had taken hostage two Pakistanis working for US forces and sentenced them to death because their country was discussing sending troops to Iraq. It was latest in a wave of abductions of foreigners designed to force their countries to rethink sending troops to Iraq.

In a separate video aired by Arab stations yesterday, kidnappers extended a deadline for their demands to be met for the release of seven foreign drivers abducted in Iraq.

In Mosul, employees leaving the American base, located at a converted airport, said they saw the bomber drive a vehicle to the gates before it exploded, setting nearby cars on fire.

US military spokeswoman Captain Angela Bowman said a woman and a child standing near the explosion were killed, as well as an Iraqi guard. Three US soldiers and three Iraqi guards were injured in the attack, she said.

Mosul has been the scene of numerous terrorist attacks, including two car bombings in January and last month that each killed nine people.

In Basra, insurgents killed two Iraqi women yesterday working as cleaners with British forces in southern Iraq and seriously injured two others, police and hospital officials said.

Lieutenant Colonel Ali Kadhem, of Basra police, said attackers drove alongside the women's car as they were driving to work at Basra airport and sprayed gun fire at them. He said that two women were killed and two injured.

All four worked as cleaners at the airport, which is used as a base by British forces. Insurgents have routinely targeted Iraqis working for coalition forces, describing them as collaborators with occupation troops.

Also yesterday, attackers shot and killed a senior Interior Ministry official and two of his bodyguards in a drive-by shooting at the official's Baghdad home, according to the Interior Ministry.

Colonel Musab al-Awadi, the ministry's deputy chief of tribal affairs, and his guards had just left the house in al-Baya neighborhood when the gunmen drove up and shot them, according to an Interior Ministry spokesman.

A group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq announced yesterday that it had kidnapped the two Pakistanis and an Iraqi contract driver.

The video aired on al Jazeera briefly showed the three men and included a statement by the militant group saying it had issued a death sentence against the two Pakistanis. The group did not say when it would kill the men. The Pakistani government had declared the two men, Raja Azad, 49, an engineer, and Sajad Naeem, 29, a driver, missing over the weekend.

The statement by the militant group said it was imposing the death sentence on the men in part because of Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf's statements about the possibility of sending troops to Iraq.

The statement also warned the Kuwaiti firm to stop doing business in Iraq or it would kill more of its employees.

In a separate hostage-taking, Arab satellite television stations aired video footage of kidnappers extending a deadline for their demands to be met for the release of seven foreign drivers abducted last week. The brief taped segments, showing the seven subdued-looking hostages wearing the white, traditional Arab men's gowns and kneeling and sitting on the floor, did not say how long the deadline had been extended.

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