60 killed in Iraq suicide bombing (Second Lead)By DPA, IANS
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
TIKRIT - Nearly 60 people were killed Tuesday in a suicide bombing outside a crowded police recruitment centre in the Iraqi city of Tikrit, security officials said.
“I do not know what happened. I was surprised to find myself cut and wounded in hospital,” Mohammed Abdullah, a 23-year-old man who was queuing outside the centre along with hundreds of others when the powerful blast was set off told DPA.
“The police did not take the necessary measures to protect the volunteers,” he said.
Around 150 people were injured in the explosion, with almost half in serious or critical condition as a result of one of the fiercest attacks in Tikrit since the US-led invasion of 2003.
Many of the injured were rushed to hospitals in other cities, including Baghdad, Kirkuk and Mosul.
Tikrit is located about 170 km north of Baghdad.
Iraqi television invited citizens to donate blood, while mosque loudspeakers throughout Tikrit called for calm in the aftermath of the attack.
The local council that governs Tikrit said it would pay two million dinars ($1,700) to the families of those who lost someone in this attack. The injured would receive one million dinars.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle fiercely condemned the attack and expressed his condolence to the victims.
“Iraq is on the path to democratic and social stability after successfully forming a government,” Westerwelle said in a statement. “The terrorist forces must not succeed in endangering this process.”
Tuesday’s blast follows a pattern of repeated attacks on Iraqi police and security forces by insurgents, particularly in areas north of Baghdad.