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Iraq's Health Ministry says more than 60 people died and 125 were wounded, when a suicide bomber attacked an army recruitment center in Baghdad.
Observers say the deaths cast doubt on the Iraqi security forces' ability to protect themselves and the nation.
Tuesday's bombing was one of the bloodiest in months in Baghdad.
New recruits and soldiers, along with bystanders are among the casualties.
Mohammed Jasim, Eyewitness, said, "The recruits were spending one night longer waiting here to join the army. More than 60 people were killed. What crime have those people committed?"
The carnage was caused by a single suicide bomber who detonated his explosives vest among the packed crowd.
Iraq's government blames al-Qaida for enlisting the bomber.
The attack happened in the morning on Tuesday outside the army's 11th division headquarters. About 250 new recruits show up there each week.
Iraqi security forces have been trying to boost their numbers as the US military begins to leave the country.
All but 50-thousand US troops will go home by the end of August, with the rest to follow by the end of 2011 under a security agreement between Baghdad and Washington.
Insurgents have threatened to step up attacks ahead of the US troop departure and violence has increased in recent weeks.