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30 September 2004 -- At least 46 people were killed and more than 200 wounded today in a series of car bombings around Iraq's capital Baghdad.
Most of the people killed were children who were attending an opening ceremony for a new water purification station when two car bombs exploded. Some U.S. soldiers were also injured in the explosions. Moments later, a third car bomb went off about a kilometer away at an Iraqi National Guard checkpoint.
In a website statement, the militant group linked to Jordanian Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the bombings in Baghdad. The authenticity of the statement could not be verified.
In Britain today, Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party rejected a motion calling for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq as soon as possible. Labour has been deeply divided over the government's strong support for the Iraq war.
Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi was in London, where he thanked the countries contributing to the multinational force in Iraq and criticized the idea of an early withdrawal.
"I am, of course, grateful to the leaders of the multinational force. They have promised that they will stay in Iraq as long as they are needed. This is a brave and generous promise. Calls for early withdrawal are music to the ears of terrorists and insurgents," Allawi said.
Allawi also expressed sympathy over the plight of British national Kenneth Bigley, taken hostage in Iraq and shown on videos. Allawi described Bigley's capture as "repugnant" and urged world media not to give terrorists a forum to make demands.