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Iraqi Premier Says Five Foreigners Dead In Blast

14 June 2004 -- Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi today said five foreigners working in Iraq's power sector were among those killed in the car bombing in central Baghdad.

He said three other foreigners had been seriously injured.

"It is an unfortunate and cowardly incident that happened today. Five [non-Iraqi] civilians have been killed and another three civilians severely injured. These people had been helping Iraq to rebuild its power stations and reconstruct its electricity and power generation. Additionally, a number of Iraqis have also been killed and injured," Allawi said.

Allawi did not identify them by nationality. But an Interior Ministry official, Adnan Abd al-Rahman, told the Associated Press that the dead were French.

The car bomb exploded in central Baghdad this morning near a convoy of vehicles. The blast destroyed at least several vehicles and partly demolished a nearby building.

News agencies put the total death toll to up to 12 people, many of the dead apparently killed in the collapsed building.

A number of Iraqis gathered around the damaged vehicles chanting anti-American slogans and hitting the burnt-out cars with sticks.