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Australian gov't condemns Iraq bomb attacks
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13:42, February 02, 2008

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Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith condemned on Saturday a terrorist attack in Iraq as "utterly contemptible."

More than 70 people were reported dead after the Iraqi militants used two mentally disabled women as suicide bombers. The women were strapped with explosives and blown up by remote control in two Baghdad pet markets.

Brigadier General Qassim al-Moussawi, Iraq's chief military spokesman in Baghdad, said the women had Down syndrome and may not have known they were on a suicide mission.

A spokesman for Smith described the attacks as "brutal and appalling."

"The use by terrorists of people with a disability in the attacks was utterly contemptible," the Australian Associated Press quoted the spokesman as saying.

At a meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington earlier this week, Smith reaffirmed his government's plan to withdraw most of its combat troops from Iraq by this summer.

The government made an election pledge to withdraw the 550-strong Overwatch Battle Group when its rotation ends, although it will leave hundreds of troops in supporting roles.

Source: Xinhua

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