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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Baghdad Suicide Bombing Is Deadliest Since Elections

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A suicide bomber killed at least 21 people and injured 27 outside an Iraqi army recruitment center in Baghdad on Tuesday in the deadliest insurgent attack since last month's historic election, the U.S. Army said.

The blast came a day after suicide bombers killed 27 people in attacks in two Iraqi cities. Between them, the three bombs have shattered the lull in violence that followed the poll.

Police said the attacker's target was a truck carrying recruits into the base in a disused airport in Baghdad. The U.S. military said the bomber was believed to have been on foot.

A plume of black smoke rose into the sky above the recruitment center, and ambulances raced to the scene. Hospital officials said all the victims appeared to be young men.

Guerrillas have frequently attacked Iraqis queuing up to join the police and army. Most of those killed in Monday's blasts in the cities of Mosul and Baquba were either policemen or civilians looking for work with the police.

Al-Qaida's wing in Iraq, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for those blasts and vowed further attacks on "apostates and their masters," an apparent reference to U.S.-led forces and the Iraqis who work with them.

Iraq's security forces have borne the brunt of attacks by insurgents. The U.S. military is trying to build them up into a force capable of defeating the militants but says it needs more time.