A suicide bomb attack at a recruitment center for the Iraqi army on Wednesday killed at least six people and wounded 20 in northern Iraq, according to police.
The attacker, with explosives hidden beneath his clothes, set them off while standing among the job applicants in Tal Afar, 93 miles east of the Syrian border and 260 miles northwest of Baghdad, said police Brig. Saeed Ahmed Al-Jibori.
On Sept. 8-12, coalition forces routed insurgents from Tal Afar in a major offensive, killing nearly 200 suspected militants and capturing 315, Iraq's military said.
That prompted Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born, Sunni Arab leader of the al-Qaida in Iraq insurgent group, to declare all-out war on Iraq's majority Shiites.
Later, al-Zarqawi issued a qualifier, exempting certain groups, including followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, the renegade Shiite cleric based in the holy city of Najaf.
Also, Iraqi and U.S. forces announced on Tuesday that they had shot and killed Abdullah Abu Azzam, the No. 2 leader of al-Qaida in Iraq in a raid on a high-rise apartment building in Baghdad over the weekend.
The coalition called Abu Azzam the masterminded of an escalation in suicide bombings that have claimed nearly 700 lives in Baghdad since April, and said he was the financial controller for foreign fighters who entered Iraq to join the insurgency.
Al-Qaida in Iraq issued an Internet statement on Tuesday denying Abu Azzam was the group's deputy leader, calling him "one of al-Qaida's many soldiers" and "the leader of one its battalions operating in Baghdad." The statement confirmed the Baghdad raid but said it was not certain yet whether he was killed.
In another suicide attack in Iraq on Monday, a civilian with explosives strapped to his body killed nine Iraqis at a police recruitment center in the town of Baqouba, the AP reports.
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