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Suicide Truck Bomb Kills At Least 24 in Northern Iraq


Iraqi police say a suicide truck bomb attack on a police station in northern Iraq has killed at least 24 people, including more than a dozen policemen.

At least 80 people were wounded in the truck bombing Wednesday in the city of Baiji.

Also in northern Iraq, a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter crashed on a night-time mission, killing all 14 soldiers aboard. The U.S. military said initial indications are the crash was due to a mechanical problem, not enemy fire.

The military said another U.S. soldier was killed and three others injured in combat operations west of Baghdad.

In Baghdad, the trial of 15 former aides of executed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein continued Wednesday for a second day. The defendants are charged with crimes against humanity for the killing of tens of thousands of Shi'ites who rebelled against Saddam following the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Those on trial include Saddam's cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as "Chemical Ali." He and two other defendants have already been sentenced to death for their role in the killing of up to 180,000 Kurdish villagers in northern Iraq in the 1980s as part of the "Anfal" campaign.

In other news, the French newspaper Le Monde says Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has rejected a French proposal for a conference to bring together rival Iraqi political factions. The newspaper says Mr. Talabani said such a meeting is not necessary since Iraqi political leaders speak and meet with each other every day.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.