Tue, Jun 10, 2008 - Page 6 News List

Suicide bomber conceals explosives under skins

AP , BAGHDAD

A suicide truck bomber who concealed his explosives under tanned animal hides struck a US patrol base on Sunday in northern Iraq, killing one US soldier and wounding 18 other Americans, US and Iraqi officials said.

Two Iraqi contractors working at the base in Tamim Province were also wounded, a brief statement from the military said.

Tamim has a mixed population of Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen, with the oil-rich city of Kirkuk as its capital. Three US soldiers were killed last Wednesday by gunfire in Tamim.

Brigadier Sarhat Qadir, a senior officer in the Kirkuk police department, said the bomber targeted a US patrol base in a mostly Sunni Arab residential area in Rashad, about 40km southwest of Kirkuk.

The suicide attacker rammed his vehicle into blast walls outside the gates of the small US base, located in a residential neighborhood of Sunni Arabs, Qadir said.

Earlier, the US military said a US soldier died late on Saturday when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in eastern Baghdad.

At least 4,094 members of the US military have died in the Iraq War since it began in March 2003, a Associated Press count showed.

In Baghdad, four police recruits were killed in a blast at the National Police headquarters, authorities said. Another 22 people were wounded near the building’s gate where recruits were gathering, they said.

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