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IRAQ - Suicide bomber kills 21

Published:Wednesday | January 27, 2010 | 12:00 AM

BAGHDAD (AP):

A suicide car bomber struck a police crime lab in central Baghdad yesterday Tuesday, killing at least 21 people and injuring dozens a day after suicide attacks hit several hotels favoured by Western journalists, officials said.

The timing of the blast, a day after Iraq hanged Saddam Hussein's cousin and stalwart 'Chemical Ali,' prompted speculation that the latest attacks were retaliation by Sunni insurgents.

But the top American commander in Iraq, General Raymond Odierno, said he saw "absolutely no connection" between the bombings Monday that killed at least 41 people and the execution. The United States military did not have any immediate comment on yesterday's bombing.

"We didn't turn Chemical Ali over until yesterday afternoon. ... There was no way anybody could have known about that," Odierno said yesterday during a question-and-answer session with reporters in his office at Camp Victory, the sprawling United States military headquarters on the outskirts of Baghdad.