Iraq: Blast at Italian base kills 3, many wounded

A bomb blast rocked an Italian convoy at a base in southern Iraq on Thursday, killing three people and injuring others, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. Italian news agency reports said many were injured. The bomb targeted a four-vehicle convoy on its way to relieve troops at the local Iraqi police station in the city of Nasiriyah, the statement said. One of the vehicles was destroyed, killing two Italians and one Romanian on board, and gravely injuring at least one more passenger. The ministry had previously said that three Italians and one Romanian had been killed, but later corrected its numbers. Romania's Defense Ministry confirmed the death of the Romanian soldier. Italy's president, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, quickly released a statement expressing "dismay and immense grief." Center-left leader Romano Prodi, who will head the next Italian government, said in a statement that "this tragedy strikes at all of Italy," and added that he was close to the victims' families.