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Suicide Attacker Kills 5 Near Iraqi Interior Ministry

A suicide attacker in a vehicle packed with explosives has killed at least five people at the Iraqi Interior Ministry in Baghdad.

Police officers said the bomber struck during morning rush hour. They said four policemen were among the dead and 32 people were wounded.

Two doctors at nearby hospitals confirmed the causality figures.

The blast came after more than 60 people were reported killed in a wave of explosions in Baghdad on December 22 against a backdrop of tension between the Shi'ite-led government and minority Sunni political forces.

Iraqi authorities are calling for the arrest of Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi on charges that he ran a death squad -- accusations Hashimi denies.

The crisis has appeared to intensify following last week's withdrawal of the last U.S. combat troops from Iraq.

compiled from agency reports

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