At least 40 people killed in attacks on security forces in Iraq

At least 40 people killed in attacks on security forces in Iraq Two attacks on Iraqi security forces - one at a restaurant favored by police and another on an army recruiting center - left at least 40 people dead Thursday while Iraqi troops along the Iranian border found 27 decomposing bodies, unidentified victims of the grisly violence that plagues the country.

In the deadliest bombing in Baghdad since Sept. 19, two suicide bombers blew themselves up inside a restaurant at about 9:45 a.m., when officers usually stop by for breakfast. Police Maj. Abdel-Hussein Minsef said seven police officers and 26 civilians were killed in the blast and 24 others injured, including four officers. Samiya Mohammed, a housewife who lives nearby, said she rushed outside when she heard the explosion.

There were no Americans in the area, she said.

The blast was the most deadly since a car bomb ripped through a market in a poor Shiite Muslim neighborhood on the eastern outskirts of Baghdad, killing at least 30 people and wounding 38 on Sept. 19. A car bomb in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, detonated in the middle of a group of men outside an Iraqi army recruiting center, killing seven and injuring 13, police Capt. Hakim al-Azawi said.

The men were former officers under Hussein who were recently invited to rejoin the military, Azawi said.

Last week, Iraq's defense minister invited officers of Saddam Hussein's army up to the rank of major to join the new Iraqi army, an overture to disaffected Sunni Arab ex-soldiers - many of whom joined the insurgency after the Americans abolished the armed forces in 2003, the AP reports. A.M.

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