An Iraqi carrying explosives entered a police recruitment center and set them off Wednesday, killing some 60 people and wounding 150, press reports have indicated.
The attack took place in Irbil, a Kurdish city in northern Iraq, said police officer Shwan Mohammed. Casualty estimates varied. Gov. Nozad Hadi said 46 people died and 100 were wounded, while U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer James Drake said there were 50 dead and 100 injured. State-owned TV in Iraq and Al-Arabiya television put the toll at 60 dead and 150 wounded.
As ambulances and taxis raced to the scene and evacuated casualties to nearby hospitals. Several hospitals became so crowded that staff at one used a loudspeaker to give out the names and room numbers of the injured to people who rushed there frantically looking for relatives.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Ansar al-Sunnah group claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying in a Web statement the attack was revenge for the Kurds' alliance with U.S. forces. The statement added the bombing was carried out by a suicide attacker in a bomb-laden car.
Elsewhere, two American soldiers died in roadside bomb attacks in Baghdad, the U.S. military said Wednesday. The two separate attacks on U.S. convoys in the capital took place Tuesday.