Suicide car bomber kills 19 near Baghdad


A suicide car bomber killed 18 Iraqi National Guards and a civilian riding in a bus outside a US military base north of Baghdad today, a US army spokesman said.

A four-wheel drive vehicle packed with explosives blew up next to the bus in the latest in a series of deadly attacks on Iraq's fledgling security forces aimed at disrupting a January 30th election.

A further six Guards were wounded in the attack near Balad, Master Sergeant Robert Powell said from Tikrit.

"We have 18 Iraqi National Guards, one Iraqi civilian and the driver of the vehicle dead," he said.

"We don't know if the vehicle with the bomb was stationary or moving at the time."

Insurgents trying to drive out US occupation forces and topple Iraq's American-backed government have killed hundreds of Iraqi security force members since a US-led invasion in 2003.