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Published: Thursday January 9, 2014 MYT 6:00:01 PM
Updated: Thursday January 9, 2014 MYT 6:00:01 PM

Suicide bomber kills 13 Iraqi army recruits in Baghdad

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed 13 Iraqi army recruits and wounded more than 30 in Baghdad on Thursday, police said, in an attack on men responding to a government appeal for volunteers to help fight al Qaeda-linked militants in Anbar province.

Police said a man with an explosive vest had blown himself up as recruits were registering their names at the small Muthanna airfield, now used by the army in the Iraqi capital.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred a day after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki vowed to eradicate al Qaeda in Iraq.

In a televised address on Wednesday, he predicted victory as his army prepared to launch an offensive against Sunni Islamist militants who have taken over parts of the city of Falluja.

Fighters from the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is also active across the border in Syria, overran police stations in Falluja and another city in Iraq's western Anbar province last week.

The government had asked last week for volunteers to join the military effort against al Qaeda.

(Reporting by Raheem Salman; Writing by Alistair Lyon, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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