Suicide attacker hits police recruitment center in Iraq

An Iraqi carrying hidden explosives entered a police recruitment center and set them off Wednesday, killing at least eight Iraqis and wounding 15, police said.

But police said the final death toll could be much higher, and the Al Arabiya television station, quoting medical sources, said 60 Iraqis were killed in the attack.

It occurred in Erbil, a Kurdish city 350 kilometers (217 miles) north of Baghdad, said police officer Shwan Mohammed. He said there was an initial report of eight fatalities and 15 injuries, but that many more people may have been killed and hurt.

As ambulances and taxis raced to the chaotic scene and took casualties to local hospitals, Sadi Ahmed Perah, a senior local official with the Kurdish Patriotic Union party said dozens of people appeared to have been killed or wounded in the explosion.

Insurgents have stepped up their attacks across Iraq in the last week, often targeting convoys of U.S. and Iraqi troops, and Iraqi police on patrol or at recruitment centers.

A key goal of U.S. troops is to eventually train enough Iraqi security forces to reduce the role now being played by the Americans in fighting the insurgency.

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