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Car Bomb Attack Kills At Least 10 at Polish Military Base in Iraq - 2004-02-18


A car bomb attack early Wednesday at a Polish military base south of Baghdad killed at least 10 people and injured scores of others.

Guards opened fire at the two approaching attackers as they sped toward the entrance of a coalition military base south of Baghdad in the town of Hillah. The driver of one vehicle was killed and his vehicle exploded before he reached his target, but the second driver got closer and detonated his bomb against a barrier, causing most of the damage.

A coalition spokesman in Baghdad said men, women and children were among the dead and wounded. A number of homes near the base were destroyed in the blast. Among those injured were soldiers from Poland, Hungary and the United States.

A Polish military spokesman said the attack happened just after 7:00 a.m. Wednesday. The spokesman said troops at the base, called Camp Charlie, prevented a more serious attack by firing at the vehicles after they refused to stop while approaching the entrance. Concrete barriers surrounding the compound also limited the casualties and damage.

The attack is the latest assault against non-U.S. troops contributing to the coalition force in Iraq. Bulgarian and Italian soldiers were killed in bombings in November and December at their bases in southern Iraq.

Suicide bombings throughout Iraq have killed more than 300 people so far this year. Two separate car bombs last week killed over 100. Most coalition and Iraqi bases have recently fortified their compounds to lessen the effects of future attacks.

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