Five Foreign Contractors Among 13 Dead in Iraq Blast

Tuesday
09:39:31 AM
June
15 2004

Five Foreign Contractors Among 13 Dead in Iraq Blast

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A suicide car bombing sowed havoc in the heart of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 13 people, five of them foreign contractors in a passing convoy.

Two Britons, a Frenchman and an American were among the dead. The U.S. military said 10 contractors had been wounded.

The five contractors killed were employees of a subsidiary of the U.S. conglomerate General Electric or security contractors working with the company.

In Dubai, Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said the United States would hand over ousted leader Saddam Hussein to the new Iraqi government within two weeks for trial.

In comments to Arab satellite channel Al Jazeera, he said Saddam and "all current detainees, without exception," would be given to the Iraqi government and trials would start "as soon as possible."

Concerning Monday's attack, Iraqi Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib said preliminary information suggested a foreigner had been responsible.

"The initial information shows that the person who carried out the bombing was not Iraqi and came from outside Iraq," he told Al Arabiya television.

The U.S.-led occupying power and Iraqi officials say foreign fighters have played a major role in the violence gripping Iraq.

Monday's blast was the second suicide bombing in the capital in 24 hours and coincided with a wave of assassinations aimed at the new interim government appointed to take over from the U.S.-British occupation authorities on June 30.

AT LEAST EIGHT WOUNDED

Hospital officials said at least eight other people were also killed and dozens wounded, many of them with severe burns or limbs torn off by the blast near Tahrir (Liberation) Square.

Source by Reuters


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