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Car bomb kills at least 25 in Diyala province

BAGHDAD, Iraq - At least 25 people were killed and 45 injured Tuesday morning when a car bomber detonated his vehicle at a police recruitment center in Jalula, northeast of Baqouba in Diyala province, Iraqi police said.

Posing as a security officer, the bomber drove up to a checkpoint in the mostly Kurdish town of where dozens of men were standing to register to join a new battalion in the security forces in Diyala province. When questioned, he detonated the car.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry was organizing the new police support battalion following recent security operations in violent Diyala province, police said. Most of the security forces in Diyala are members of U.S.-backed Sunni militias, the Sons of Iraq, while the police are dominated mostly by Shiite Arabs. The new recruits were supposed to help balance the ethnic and sectarian nature of the police.

A doctor who treated the wounded in the town said they'd received 30 bodies of dead recruits, a higher figure than police reported to McClatchy Newspapers. Some of the bodies were so badly deformed from the explosion they could not be identified, police and medical sources said.

The wounded were taken to three hospitals in the Kurdish north and Diyala Province.

Special Correspondent Hussein Kadhim contributed to this report.

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