A car bomb exploded outside the Iraqi National Guard headquarters in the northern city of Kirkuk today (Saturday), killing at least 17 people and wounding 53 others. Iraqi officials say the bomb went off at the rear entrance of the building. They say most of the victims were waiting in line to apply for jobs.
The Arab television station Al-Jazeera has broadcast a videotape purportedly showing a British and two American hostages being held in Iraq by a militant group led by a suspected ally of the al-Qaida terror network, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The brief footage showed the three men blindfolded and seated with a masked militant standing behind them.
Al-Jazeera said the group, called Tawhid and Jihad, threatened to execute the hostages, unless the United States releases within 48 hours female Iraqi inmates from the Abu Ghraib prison and the port city of Umm Qasr.
Jiang Zemin, head of China's military and former president, may step down on Sunday, handing full power to his successor, Hu Jintao. Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported today (Saturday) that the 78-year-old military chief handed in his resignation at a plenum of China's Communist Party's Central Committee on Thursday.