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Suicide bombs in Baghdad, Japanese and Australian still hostage

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Suicide bombs in Baghdad, Japanese and Australian still hostage


A suicide car bomber has blown up his vehicle near a US military convoy in central Baghdad killing at least seven Iraqis and wounding about two dozen others. The US military had no immediate information on American casualties. The explosion was close to the site of a double suicide car bombing that killed 22 people including two Americans on Saturday.

Also this morning a suicide bomber detonated his car outside a riverside base for police who patrol the Tigris. Meanwhile an Islamic militant group says it is holding a badly-wounded Japanese man after an ambush near a US base in Iraq. Japan’s government has said the incident will not affect its troop deployment in the country.

The Army of Ansar al-Sunna said in an Internet statement it had ambushed a foreign security convoy near a US base in western Iraq and captured a Japanese citizen. A picture of the man’s passport posted on the Internet gave his name as Akihiko Saito, aged 44.

Another insurgent group, the Shura Council of the Mujahideen in Iraq, is holding an Australian hostage, 63-year-old engineer Douglas Wood. He was seized in Baghdad last month. In a video released last week, Wood was shown looking distraught as two masked insurgents pointed rifles at him. His head had been shaved and he appeared to have a black eye. The insurgents demanded Australia withdraw its troops within 72 hours, a deadline that expired today.

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