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Blast In Central Baghdad Kills Two

25 October 2004 -- A bomb blew up near a U.S. patrol in central Baghdad today, killing at least two people, while a new report says 380 tons of explosives have vanished in Iraq.

Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi's group has meanwhile claimed responsibility for the execution-style killing of some 50 Iraqi Army soldiers.

Iraqi police and the Interior Ministry said two bystanders were killed and several others injured in the attack today near the so-called Green Zone that houses the Iraqi government and U.S. embassy.

"The New York Times" reported today that nearly 380 tons of explosives went missing from a military site after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

In another development, al-Zarqawi's group -- newly renamed the Al-Qaeda Organization for Holy War in Iraq -- has claimed responsibility for killing unarmed, U.S.-trained Iraqi Army soldiers on 23 October.

The authenticity of the statement on an Islamic website could not be verified, but "The New York Times" quoted Iraqi officials confirming the incident, adding that the insurgents who reportedly carried out the attack were disguised as Iraqi police.

(with agency reports)