BAGHDAD

Suicide bomber kills 51 in crowd of army applicants

A suicide bomber infiltrated a crowd of young Iraqi army applicants Tuesday and detonated explosives, killing at least 51 people and wounding 104 others in an early-morning attack just two weeks before U.S. forces are scheduled to end their combat mission in Iraq.

As hundreds of young men lined up in central Baghdad to hand in documents on the last day of a week-long application process, the bomber slipped into the crowd in an open area outside Iraq’s former Defense Ministry building, now an army recruitment center and military base. A U.S. military training team is based in the building near the site of the 6:30 a.m. blast.

Late Tuesday, 10 people were killed and 46 injured in what police described as an explosion caused by a short circuit in a generator in the northeastern neighborhood of Ur. Witnesses said that a broken generator exploded but that it may have been rigged with explosives.

Police said the fire was caused by a short-circuit, but witnesses said a bomb attached to the generator exploded.

The attack at the army facility, the bloodiest in the capital in months, underscored uncertainty about the readiness of Iraq’s security forces just two weeks before U.S. troop levels are scheduled to drop to 50,000. Nearly six months after inconclusive elections, Iraq remains without a new government, and violent attacks and assassinations are on the rise.

SEOUL, South Korea

North Korea begins to tweet its propaganda

North Korea appears to have ramped up its propaganda war against South Korea and the U.S. by turning to Twitter and YouTube – websites that most citizens of the reclusive communist country are banned from viewing.

The North’s government-run Uriminzokkiri website posted an announcement last week saying it has a Twitter account and a YouTube channel.

More than 80 videos have been uploaded since July to the global video-sharing site under the user name uriminzokkiri. The series of clips include condemnation of “warmongers” South Korea and the U.S. for blaming North Korea for the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.

In May, an international team of investigators found North Korea responsible for the sinking, which killed 46 South Korean sailors, but the North denies involvement.

“Those who enjoy setting flames of war are bound to burn in those very flames,” a narrator says in one video.

A clip titled “Who will win if North Korea and the U.S. fight?” claims the North possesses nuclear fusion technology. But experts doubt the isolated country actually has made the breakthrough in the elusive clean-energy technology.