BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – A car bomb exploded outside an Iraqi National Guard headquarters in a city south of the capital Saturday, killing one person and wounding 22, hospital officials said.

Ambulances raced to the scene and police cordoned off the area in Mahmudiyah, 20 miles south of Baghdad.

The explosion occurred at about 7:45 a.m. while prospective recruits were waiting to get into the headquarters, said Dr. Dawoud Jassim Taie, director of the Mahmudiyah Hospital. Six of those wounded were National Guard troops while the rest were prospective recruits, he said.

National Guard troops became suspicious of a parked car near the first checkpoint and opened fire, said one officer, who declined to be named. The bomb went off at about 30 feet away from the first checkpoint.

The wounded were transported to Mahmudiyah Hospital, but were expected to be later taken to Baghdad’s Yarmouk Hospital for further treatment, Taie said.

Insurgents have repeatedly targeted police and security officials in Iraq, because they are seen as being collaborators with the Americans.

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