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Bomb Blasts Kill Scores in Iraq


In Iraq, suicide bombers killed about 60 people in a town south of Baghdad Thursday. VOA's Jim Randle has the story from northern Iraq.

Police say two bombs exploded in a crowded market in Hilla, 100 kilometers south of Baghdad.

Scores died, well over 150 were wounded in the attacks. Bombings and other attacks also killed a number of people in Baghdad

One bomb tore a minibus apart, while a car-bomb exploded in a busy shopping area.

A witness said he thinks there was a bomb planted under a car. It went off while some people were parking their cars, and some nearby cars had people in them.

And another mortar attack hit a mostly Sunni area.

Iraq's interior ministry has been keeping track of the terrible daily toll. Officials say almost 2,000 civilians died in January's sectarian violence across the country. Another 1,900 people were wounded and almost 600 insurgents were killed.

The level of carnage is slightly higher than in the previous month.

The U.S. military announced the deaths of another five American service members over the past two days.

Back in Washington, the U.S. Senate is considering a key new job for the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq. General George Casey has been nominated to be the U.S. Army's next Chief of Staff.

He told senators President Bush's plan to send some additional U.S. troops to Iraq should be more than enough to help quell violence there.

Many members of congress are skeptical of the plan and Senator John McCain, a prospective 2008 presidential candidate, said Congress was not given correct information by Casey regarding progress of the war in Iraq.