They had started the day as would-be recruits to Iraq’s security forces. But now they have become the latest victims of an ongoing wave of violence. At least 16 people have died after a suicide bomber struck at an army recruiting centre in Baghdad. Dozens more were injured in the attack claimed by al Qaeda’s wing in Iraq.
One Interior Ministry source put the death toll at 22.
It happened at a site already targeted several times before.
Recruitment to the police and army has surged in recent months. Thousands of jobless young men are willing to face great risks for the prospect of a good salary. Suicide bombers also struck elsewhere today.
One killed four policemen near Mosul. Another claimed three civilian lives near the local authority building in the ethnically tense oil city of Kirkuk.
In the context of Iraqi violence, today’s bloodshed follows something of a lull in mass killings.
Some insurgents have turned on other targets, including top foreign diplomats.