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60 Iraqis killed when suicide bomber attacks police applicants

The attack takes place in Hussein's hometown of Tikrit. It's the deadliest such strike since the nation's new government was formed.

January 18, 2011|By Ned Parker and Salar Jaff | Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Baghdad — At least 60 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up by a line of people applying for jobs with the police in the late dictator Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, officials said.

Another 160 were wounded when the attacker set off his explosives in a crowd of applicants and their families, according to police and medical officials. Mosques called for blood donations and some of the wounded were sent to hospitals as far away as the northern cities of Kirkuk and Mosul.

The attack was the deadliest of its kind since a deal for the new Iraqi government was announced in November.

Militants from Iraq's onetime Sunni elite have long opposed efforts to recruit members of their sect to positions in the new security forces, and have used intimidation and violence to keep them away. In the western province of Anbar, the Sunni region's governor narrowly evaded a bomb on Monday.

Armed groups see the Sunni community as a recruiting pool to fight against Iraq's Shiite majority, who have come to hold the state's levers of power since Hussein's fall in 2003.

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