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Suicide Attacker Set Off Iraq Car Bomb

September 10, 2003

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) _ A suicide attacker set off a car bomb outside an office used by Americans in northern Iraq, a witness told The Associated Press on Wednesday. One Iraqi was killed and nearly 50 people were wounded, including six Americans, the U.S. military said.

Jafar Marouf, a 31-year-old teacher, was visiting a friend on the quiet residential street Tuesday night when he saw a white KIA four-wheel drive approach quickly, then explode with the driver inside. Marouf was slightly wounded.

Near Baghdad, a U.S. soldier was killed and one was wounded Tuesday evening when a homemade bomb exploded near a military vehicle on a supply route northeast of the capital, the U.S. Central Command said Wednesday.

The death was the first to be reported by the U.S. military in eight days, although sporadic attacks had continued against occupying forces.

The soldiers were from the U.S. Army’s 3rd Corp Support Command, according to the military. The wounded soldier was evacuated to a field hospital.

The U.S. military said 41 Iraqis and six Americans were wounded in Tuesday’s attack in the predominantly Kurdish city of Irbil, including children from nearby houses and Iraqi Kurdish guards.

The identity of the attacker was not clear. The bomb site was sealed Wednesday morning and U.S. soldiers refused to give any details.

Those wounded in Tuesday’s attack in the predominantly Kurdish city of Irbil included children from nearby houses and Iraqi Kurdish guards. The bomb site was sealed Wednesday morning and U.S. soldiers refused to give any details.

The bomb site was sealed Wednesday morning and U.S. soldiers refused to give any details.

Staff Sgt. Shane Slaughter, U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, said that the six wounded Americans were Department of Defense personnel. He did not say if they were military or civilian.

He said that the military was investigating the bombing, which occurred Tuesday at 10:05 p.m. Nobody claimed responsibility.

Television footage earlier showed Kurdish women wailing and men running in panic with a burning car behind them. A Kurdish man could be seen carrying a toddler with a bleeding head in his arms.

The footage also showed the four-wheel-drive vehicle that apparently carried the bomb was intact but badly burned. Its chassis was in one piece.

Authorities in Irbil, about 200 miles north of Baghdad, called to residents over loudspeakers to donate blood for the wounded, CNN-Turk television said Tuesday night.

Northern Iraq has been the most stable part of the country since the U.S.-led coalition ousted Saddam Hussein in April.

Also Tuesday, Iraq’s acting president Ahmad Chalabi called for Turkey to send as many as 10,000 peacekeeping troops under a U.N. mandate, providing they are deployed in the far west of the country away from Kurdish territory. The invitation contradicts Iraq’s new Kurdish foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, who has said neighboring countries should not send peacekeepers.

Spokesman Entifadh Kanbar also announced that Chalabi, the member of the Governing Council’s nine-member presidency who is serving at the helm for September, had been invited by the Turkish government to pay ``a very important visit.″

``We are welcoming the participation of Turkish forces under the United Nations resolution ... in the western area in Iraq under the condition that this force should not exceed ten thousand,″ Kanbar said.

A Turkish force in Iraq is an extremely sensitive issue because of the large Kurdish population near the Turkish border, where some Kurdish rebels took refuge in the remote mountains after fighting a 15-year rebellion in Turkey.

An estimated 37,000 people died in that fighting, and Turkey is concerned that instability in Iraq could re-ignite the war. Turks and Kurds have a centuries old animosity.

Turkey also is worried the Iraqi Kurds may be trying to carve out a separate homeland in northern Iraq that could inspire Turkish Kurds.

Turks overwhelmingly opposed the war in Iraq and many question whether their soldiers should risk dying for a mission they largely don’t support. The government is weighing a request to parliament to send troops, under heavy pressure from the United States, but is keenly aware that such a move could divide the ruling party and threaten the government’s stability.

Yet the influential Turkish military supports sending a force.

``The legitimacy (of the U.S.-led invasion) can be debated, but that’s in the past now,″ said Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, head of the military. ``If the United States is unsuccessful and there is instability there, this will concern Turkey.″

The Arab League in the early hours of Tuesday granted the fledgling Iraqi Governing Council the Baghdad seat on the 22-member pan-Arab body after initially shunning the American-picked interim government.

The Iraqi seat was occupied by Zebari, who told his fellow Arabs they soon would have a democratic country in the neighborhood.

``The new Iraq will be different from that of Saddam Hussein,″ Zebari vowed in his first remarks to the league. ``The new Iraq will be based on diversity, democracy, constitution, law and respect for human rights.″

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