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Car Bomb Kills Scores at Baghdad Police Station - 2004-09-14

A car bomb detonated at a Baghdad police station, killed at least 47 people and injured scores more. Many of the victims were recruits signing up for jobs as police officers, others were shoppers at a nearby market.

Ambulances raced to the site of the car-bomb, where rescuers pulled victims of the blast from the wreckage of market stalls, and amid body parts strewn across the road.

The blast left a three-meter wide crater in the front of the police station on Haifa Street, where dozens of people had lined up to apply for jobs.

One woman nearly collapsed with grief. She says, "Where are our sons? They are coming here looking for a job." She asks why would someone do that to them.

By chance, one man left a billiards hall near the bomb site minutes before the blast. He says he was playing billiards. After he left, he saw a huge fire and came running back and saw many people wounded and killed.

While a U.S. helicopter circled overhead, some among the angry crowd at the site denounced the Iraqi interim government and others, the U.S. president, chanting "Bush is a dog."

Nearly a dozen cars were also destroyed by the blast, and nearby shops were also damaged.

The attack took place on a central Baghdad boulevard called Haifa Street - the scene of frequent violence. On Sunday, five people died when a U.S. helicopter fired at a crowd that had gathered at a military vehicle which had been set on fire.

U.S. officials say the helicopter had come under fire from nearby the burning vehicle.

Also on Sunday, four separate car bombs were detonated targeting U.S. forces across the country.

Fighting has escalated across Iraq for the past few days leaving nearly 60 people dead. Iraqi officials say the government wants to ensure a peaceful environment ahead of elections planned for January 2005.