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Car Bomb Kills At Least 17 Near Iraqi Military Academy

4 September 2004 -- At least 17 people were killed and more than 20 injured today in a suicide car-bomb attack in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, authorities said.

Local police chief Shirku Shabir told AFP the bomb went off in front of the police academy in the southwest of the city.

The deadly attack came as U.S. and Iraqi troops launched an offensive in northern Iraq against suspected militants, killing at least two insurgents.

The U.S. military said in a statement that air strikes were called in amid heavy fighting and a bomb was dropped near Tall Afar, some 50 kilometers west of the northern city of Mosul.

In Baghdad, the military said insurgents fired mortar bombs at a fortified compound where members of Iraq's interim national assembly were gathering today.