Bombing kills 7 Iraqi cops, sends message on cooperating with U.S.

Sunday, July 6, 2003

You are either with Saddam or against Iraq.

This subtext from the Saddam Hussein regime seemed to be the message of a brutal attack over the weekend.

Seven Iraqi police cadets were killed and more than 50 wounded in a bombing of a parade in the western city of A-Ramadi. The bombing was attributed to insurgents loyal to deposed President Saddam Hussein.

"Those who refuse to embrace the new Iraq are clearly panicking," U.S. administrator in Iraq L. Paul Bremer said. "They are turning their sights on Iraqis themselves.

Today they have killed innocent Iraqis with the same disdain toward their own people they showed for 35 years."

The cadets were the first trained by the United States in a nine-day course and were scheduled to graduate this week. U.S. officials said Saddam loyalists have warned Iraqis not to join any U.S.-sponsored institution.

Officials said the bomb was composed of TNT placed in a bag of rice. They said the bomb was detonated by remote control.

A-Ramadi has been the scene of numerous attacks by Sunni insurgents on U.S. forces. Last week, three U.S. soldiers were killed and 36 were injured in grenade, rocket and sniper attacks in the so-called Sunni triangle in northwestern Iraq.

The insurgency attacks intensified amid the release of an audio tape of a man claiming to be Saddam Hussein. The tape, played on Qatar's A-Jazeera satellite channel on Friday, said Saddam's forces were fighting the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.

"What will come in the days ahead will, God willing and with His help, be tough on the infidel invaders and honorable for the believers," the purported Saddam tape said.

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