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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq: At Least 400 Killed in Tuesday's Truck Bombings

16 August 2007

The Iraqi interior ministry says the death toll has risen to at least 400 people in suicide truck bombings Tuesday against a religious minority in northern Iraq.

The explosions of four truck bombs in two Yazidi villages were the deadliest coordinated attack in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Iraqi soldiers, police and volunteers continued to pull bodies from the rubble of the devastated villages Thursday in Nineveh province. Hundreds of wounded are being treated at hospitals across the region.

The Yazidis are a non-Muslim, Kurdish-speaking community that belong to an ancient religious sect. Sunni militants regard them as infidels.

Meanwhile, a car bomb exploded in Baghdad Thursday morning next to a shopping complex, killing at least seven people and wounding 15 others.

The U.S. military also says two American soldiers were killed and six wounded in fighting Wednesday north of the Iraqi capital.

In another development, Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani says the militants who kidnapped his deputy and four other senior officials Tuesday in Baghdad had carried out a "sophisticated" operation.

Shahristani says about 100 armed insurgents disguised as government troops drove up to an oil ministry building and persuaded the guards to let them pass.

The militants then stormed the building, seizing Deputy Oil Minister Abdel Jabar al-Wagaa and the other officials. Shahristani says Iraqi security forces are searching for the kidnappers and their captives.

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

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