Reaction to day of violence

18 June 2004
Defence Minister Hazem al-Shalan promised a 'house-to-house' search for suspects involved in the 17 June suicide car bombing near an Iraqi army recruitment center in Baghdad which left at least 41 Iraqis dead and another 145 wounded.

Another car bombing the same day killed six more people and wounded four near Balad, north of Baghdad.

Al-Shalan promised tough action against those behind the attacks. 'We will cut off the hands of those people, we will slit their throats if it is necessary to do so,' he told reporters. 'For those people who want to join the new Iraqi army, we will protect them and we will find them a safe location so they can submit their applications.'

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