Suicide Bombers Strike Iraqi Police Academy
The bombers, who wore vests filled with explosives, struck at around 12:45 p.m. local time.
According to statements from the U.S. military, one attacker detonated explosives near a group of students who fled toward a bunker, where another attacker detonated a second bomb.
“We were sitting in the yard when we heard an explosion,” said police Maj. Wisam al-Heyali, according to the Associated Press. “Seconds later, we were hit by another explosion as we were running. I saw some of my colleagues falling down and I felt my hand hit, but I kept on running.”
No U.S. military personnel were present during the attack, but an American contract worker was reportedly wounded.
Tuesday’s bombings were the deadliest attack against Iraqi forces since last February, when a suicide car bomber attacked police and National Guard recruits in Hillah, killing 125.
Iraqi police and national guard have suffered a disproportionate numbers of attacks in the last year. According to numbers compiled by the Christian Science Monitor, some four Iraqi security agents die for every American soldier killed since Oct. 2004.
Despite the continued attacks, officials with the Iraqi Interior Ministry have said they continue to receive recruits and train new police.
“We have people lining up to enlist – for every one that quits we have two or more that want to take his place,” Col. Adnan Abdulrahman, spokesman for the interior ministry, told the Monitor. Iraqi security forces make an average of $150 a month in a city where day laborers can make $2 a day and unemployment hovers around 40 percent. “I wouldn’t say the police are afraid. It’s just that it’s a difficult and dangerous job.”