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Car Bomb Shakes Baghdad Amid Continuing Clashes --> 22 September 2004 -- A car bomb exploded in western Baghdad today, causing casualties and widespread damage.

At least six people were reported killed and more than 50 wounded. U.S. military officials suggested the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. It was the latest in a series of deadly bombings in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, U.S. aircraft and tanks attacked suspected insurgent positions in Baghdad's Al-Sadr City neighborhood. Naim al-Qaabi, an official from the radical Shi'ite movement of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, said 15 people were killed in the fighting.

The U.S. military also reported that a Black Hawk helicopter crashed shortly after take off near the southern city of Al-Nasiriyah, wounding three crew members. The cause of the crash was not known.

U.S. planes struck Al-Sadr City yesterday in an attempt to destroy roadside bombs and land mines strewn across the slum's streets.

In related news, one of the leaders of an insurgent group in Iraq has been killed in a U.S. air strike, according to a Jordanian newspaper report.

"Al-Ghad" newspaper and an Internet website reported that Abu Anas al-Shami, one of the leaders of the Al-Tawhid Wa Al-Jihad group, was killed in a U.S. attack on his vehicle in western Baghdad a week ago.

Al-Shami was reportedly an aide to Al-Tawhid Wa Al-Jihad's suspected leader, Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Al-Tawhid Wa Al-Jihad has claimed responsibility for the reported beheadings of two American hostages in the past two days in Iraq.


Related story: "Bush Condemns Iraq Beheading" and "Second Car-Bomb Blast Rocks Baghdad"
[For additional news, background, and analysis on events in Iraq, click here.]