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Dozens Dead as Blast Rocks Iraqi Police Station - 2004-02-10


A car bomb has exploded at a police station in an Iraqi city south of Baghdad, killing at least 45 people.

Police say most of the victims were civilians waiting to apply for jobs at the police station in the town of Iskandariya, about 50-kilometers south of the capital. Dozens of people were wounded.

The U.S. military cordoned off the area surrounding the blast site and is investigating the incident.

Iraqi police stations have been frequent targets for insurgent attacks, and officials say hundreds of police officers have been killed for working with the U.S. led coalition.

U.S. military officials say there are indications that foreign fighters are increasingly helping Iraqi insurgents still loyal to the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein.

On Monday, a top U.S. military official (Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt) said U.S. forces seized a computer disc containing a letter written by suspected al-Qaida operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi outlining a plan to wage a sectarian war in Iraq in the coming months.

Meanwhile, a United Nations team is continuing talks with Iraqi politicians to determine whether it is possible to hold nationwide elections in the next few months.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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