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Suicide bomber kills dozens of Iraqi army recruits

US Marine Corps, via Wikimedia Commons

A suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded army recruitment centre in Baghdad killing at least 59 people Tuesday. 


At least another 100 people were wounded in the attack that happened at around 7:30am (5:30am GMT) in the Baab al-Muatham neighbourhood of central Baghdad.

"After the explosion, everyone ran away, and the soldiers fired into the air," Ahmed Kadhim, one of the recruits at the centre who escaped unharmed from the attack, told the AFP news agency.

"I saw dozens of people lying on the ground, some of them were on fire. Others were running with blood pouring out."

Kadhim said the recruits had been divided into groups based on their educational qualifications and the suicide bomber had targeted the selection of high school graduates.

This is the deadliest attack in a month and comes as the United States as US forces have pulled out some troops ahead of a declaration to an end to combat operations at the end of the month.

Iraq's top military officer General Babaker Zebari raised doubts about the readiness of his soldiers earlier this year, saying American forces should stay until 2020.

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