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Iraq: At Least 22 Dead In Italian Police Station Blast

Rome, 12 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Italy's Carabinieri (police) say at least 14 Italians and eight Iraqis died in a blast today at an Italian military police base in the southern Iraqi city of Al-Nasiriyah. Carabinieri officials say the dead include nine Carabinieri and three army soldiers. The Reuters news agency is quoting local hospital officials as saying that eight Iraqis have also been killed.

The cause of the blast was not immediately known. The Al-Jazeera Arab news channel is reporting the blast was caused by a suicide attacker who drove a truck full of explosives into the base in the south-central part of the city.

The Qatar-based satellite station said the attacker crashed the truck into the gate of the Italian military base, injuring an undetermined number of Italians and Iraqis.

In Rome, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi called the incident a "terrorist act." He vowed that Italy remains committed "in the fight against international terrorism."

Also today, the U.S. Army said an American soldier was killed by a bomb on a road north of Baghdad.