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Official: Iraq Blast Killed 24, Hurt 120

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The suicide truck bombing at a gate to the headquarters compound of the U.S.-led coalition killed 24 people and wounded about 120, Iraq's health minister said Monday.

That casualty count from Sunday's attack is significantly higher than the U.S. toll of "about 20" dead and 63 injured.

Health Minister Khudayer Abbas said his figures were based on reports from hospitals and clinics throughout the Baghdad area, which were still submitting reports Monday.

The U.S. military said three U.S. civilians and three American soldiers were among the injured.

The blast occurred Sunday morning when a suicide driver detonated 1,000 pounds of explosives in a pickup truck at what U.S. soldiers call the "Assassins' Gate" to Saddam Hussein's Republican Palace compound.

The bombing came on the eve of a meeting between U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to discuss Iraq's future, including whether Iraq is safe enough for the world body to return its international staff.


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