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41 Dead in 2 Iraq Car Bombings - 2004-06-17


U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says Iraq is still too violent for the United Nations to return, as separate car bomb attacks kill at least 41 people in two Iraqi cities.

In the first attack Thursday, a suicide car bomber killed 35 people outside an Iraqi army recruitment center in Baghdad. Iraq's interior minister (Falah al-Naqib) says he believes Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was involved in the bombing.

North of Baghdad (in Yethrib), six Iraqi civil defense members were killed when another car bomb detonated.

In New York, Mr. Annan said the United Nations would resume a permanent presence in Iraq only when circumstances permit.

Later Thursday, Iraqi insurgents released two truck drivers -- a Turkish national and an Egyptian -- weeks after abducting them near Fallujah. Few other details about the development are available.

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

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