posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 12:53 PM
The US military sent a team of crack investigators to probe a blast that killed 22 people in the deadliest single strike against Americans in Iraq.
The suspected rocket attack on a packed army tent mess hall in Mosul Tuesday, claimed by Al-Qaeda linked militants, was denounced by US President
George W. Bush a day after he acknowledged the strength of Iraq's tenacious insurgency.
But as the US military swept Mosul for insurgents following the blast, ABC News quoted unidentified sources as saying "a backpack found by
investigators at the site and remnants of a torso indicate the attack was caused by a suicide bombing".
The brazen strike came on the heels of a new poll showing US skepticism about the war in Iraq at a new high and added to concerns over whether
landmark elections scheduled for January 30 could go ahead.
But Bush said: "I'm confident democracy will prevail in Iraq. I know a free Iraq will lead to a more peaceful world. So we ask for God's
blessings on all who are involved in that vital mission."
Among the dead were 14 American military personnel, four US civilians and four members of the Iraqi security forces, the military said.
The four civilians worked for US conglomerate Halliburton, which has lost 62 employees around Iraq and in neighboring Kuwait since the invasion last
year.Dozens of US soldiers wounded in the attack arrived in Germany and were being transferred to a military hospital, "42 injured soldiers, eight of
them in critical condition," said a military hospital spokeswoman.