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Car Bomb Kills At Least 26 In Baghdad Attack

An explosive-filled car was detonated near an Army base in Baghdad today, just as would-be recruits gathered outside. The explosion killed at least 26 people, reports The New York Times. Reuters puts the death toll at 31.

Reuters reports that this is "one of the worst attacks this year on [Iraq's] military."

The wire service adds:

"Bombings and attacks have eased sharply since the height of Iraq's sectarian strife in 2006-2007, but al Qaeda's local affiliate and other Sunni Islamist insurgents often target local security forces and Shi'ite Muslims to stoke tensions.

"The bomber drove his car into crowds of troops and recruits outside the base in Taji, 20 km (12 miles) north of the Iraqi capital, leaving body parts and burned vehicles scattered in the streets outside, police and hospital officials said."

Now, Reuters is saying the attack was perpetrated by a "suicide bomber," but CNN and The New York Times are saying it was a car bomb.

The Times spoke to one man who was wounded. Mohamed Talal said recruits were checking their names on a list near the outside wall.

"I was heading to the place near the parking lot to check my name when all of sudden a strong explosion happened where the people was gathering," Talal told the paper. "I turned and started to run, and I began to feel shrapnel in my back and I fell to the ground."

The Times reports that the car was detonated remotely.

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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