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U.S. Troops Uncover Car-Bomb Facility In Iraq --> Car bombs have taken a heavy toll on security (file photo) 3 July 2004 -- The U.S. Army says it has dealt a blow to Iraqi insurgents by raiding a bomb factory in Baghdad and arresting the financier and operators.

The military today said soldiers recently detained 51 people believed linked to an insurgent cell responsible for placing roadside bombs that killed several soldiers.

Bombs and car bombs are regularly set off in Baghdad. More than 20 car bombs were detonated around the country in June ahead of the U.S.-led coalition's transfer of authority to an interim Iraqi government on 28 June.

Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Hamid al-Bayati yesterday appealed to France and Germany to help build and train his country's security forces.

At a NATO summit in Turkey in late June, alliance leaders offered military training to the new Iraqi government. However, France and Germany rejected the U.S. notion that an alliance training mission could develop into a NATO presence in Iraq.

Also in Iraq, reports from that country today say insurgents attacked an Iraqi checkpoint south of the capital Baghdad, killing five national guard soldiers and wounding five more.

West of Baghdad, a U.S. Marine died of wounds suffered yesterday during operations in Anbar province in western Iraq.