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Suicide Bomber Kills 50 Outside Iraqi Police Recruiting Center

Bodies of bomb attack victims are seen outside a hospital in Tikrit, some 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad, 18 Jan 2011

Iraqi officials say a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of police recruits Tuesday, killing 50 people and wounding at least 150 others.

The blast occurred Tuesday outside of a police station in the late dictator Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, about 130 kilometers north of Baghdad. Local officials blamed al-Qaida for the attack.

Witnesses say the blast site was covered in blood and torn flesh, with pieces of clothing and shoes scattered around.

Following the attack, mosques issued broadcast appeals for people to donate blood for the wounded.

The attack was the deadliest in Iraq since the formation of a new government in December after a nine-month political stalemate.

Recently, there have been a number of suicide bombings throughout the country as it struggles to emerge from years of war.

On Monday, a suicide bomber attacked a convoy carrying the governor of Anbar province, wounding at least six people but not injuring the politician.

Last month, a double suicide bombing near the government compound in Ramadi killed at least nine people and wounded about 50 others.

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

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