Car Bomb Kills 32 North Of Baghdad

BAGHDAD - A car bomb ripped through a crowded commercial district in a mainly Shiite town north of Baghdad on Friday, killing at least 32 people and wounding 43, Iraqi officials said.

The explosion was apparently targeting a police station but it also heavily damaged a nearby medical clinic in a crowded area in Dujail, according to police.

Concrete barriers largely protected the police station, while the medical clinic was more heavily damaged, the officials said.

Two police officers and a hospital official gave the casualty toll on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.

Dujail, 50 miles north of Baghdad, was the site of a 1982 assassination attempt against former leader Saddam Hussein. The ousted Iraqi leader was hanged on Dec. 30, 2006, after being convicted of ordering the killings of more than 140 Shiites from the town in retaliation.

The blast was the latest in a series of attacks in areas north of Baghdad, where violence has been slower to decline than elsewhere in the country.

Earlier Friday, a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of a Shiite mosque farther north in Sinjar as worshippers left prayers at midday, killing two civilians and wounding 15, police chief Col. Awad Kahlil said.