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Volume 3,  Number 39               November 2 - 8, 2003            Quezon City, Philippines

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Car Bomb Kills 4 in Fallujah

By Slobodan Lekic
Associated Press

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FALLUJAH, Iraq - A car bomb exploded Tuesday near a police station in the tense city of Fallujah, killing at least four people, one day after a series of suicide bombings in Baghdad left about three dozen dead.

The Fallujah attack came hours after four American soldiers were wounded in ambushes in northern Iraq.

Monday was the bloodiest day in the Iraqi capital since the end of major combat in the U.S.-led war to o Geneva, said no decision had been made whether to evacuate non-Iraqi staff from Iraq. Twelve of the dead in Monday's attacks were killed in a car-bombing outside the Red Cross office in a quiet street in central Baghdad.

"We have to evaluate what it means and what consequences it has for us," Notari said. "It's a terrible shock for us, and also completely incomprehensible."

The three-story Red Cross headquarters in Baghdad was empty on the day after the bombing, with staffers being ordered to remain at home. All the windows were broken and large cracks were visible across the building's facade. Workers and residents were cleaning up the debris on the street and trying to drain a pool of water caused by a ruptured water main.

The attacks Monday occurred at the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and left scenes of broken bodies, twisted wreckage and Iraqis unnerved by an escalating underground war.

Iraqi policemen foiled a fourth attack on a precinct in the capital's eastern suburbs by snatching an attacker before he could detonate explosives installed in his car. The man set off a grenade, and shouted "Death to the Iraqi police! You're collaborators" when he was seized.

It is uncertain what groups carried out the attacks. In Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials blamed foreign fighters intent on targeting those who cooperate with the American-led occupation. The captured would-be bomber was said to carry a Syrian passport.

In Washington, however, Pentagon officials said they believed Saddam loyalists were responsible. President Bush said insurgents had become more "desperate" because of what he said was progress in Iraq.

A coalition spokesman, Charles Heatly, said it was difficult to speculate on who was behind the attacks. He told the British Broadcasting Corp, that "there certainly are indications that there are foreign terrorists who are coming into Iraq," but he did not explicitly accuse them of responsibility.

Britain's special representative in Iraq, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, also said Tuesday there were signs of foreign terrorist involvement in a string of deadly suicide bombings in Baghdad, and that they could be coming from Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Islamic world.

"There were suicide attackers in probably all the bomb explosions that went off yesterday in Baghdad, and that is a sign of foreign terrorist tactics, rather than the Saddam loyalist elements that we are still trying to chase down," Greenstock told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Asked whether Syria and Iran were contributing to the problems, he said that while the two countries had cooperated in many respects, they "also have elements in their authorities who want to meddle."

Greenstock predicted the violence would continue.

"It is going to go on through the winter, probably. We have to accept that this is a cost and keep going with something that is really worth doing," he said.

Since Bush declared an end to major combat in Iraq on May 1, 113 U.S. soldiers have been killed by hostile fire, and about 1,675 have been wounded. U.S. forces come under attack an average of 26 times a day, and incidents have been on the rise since early September.

October 28, 2003


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