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An American journalist for National Public Radio and three Iraqi colleagues escaped injury Sunday when a bomb attached to their car exploded as it was parked along a street in west Baghdad.

The group returned to their armored car after a stop at a cafe, but were stopped by Iraqi soldiers who said they had been informed that a bomb was attached to the car.

The bomb exploded, but nobody was injured.

New USO opens at Camp Buehring

A big new USO center has opened at Camp Buehring in Kuwait, featuring a 35-seat movie theatre, lounge areas, video games and phone and computer facilities.

The 8,200-square-foot center has three large lounge areas, 10 private telephone stations, and outlets for up to 24 laptops, according to a news release issued by the USO.

The bistro cafe area features a 42-inch flat screen television.

Coalition has released thousands of Iraqis

Coalition forces have released more than 17,500 Iraqi detainees this year, leaving about 15,800 still in confinement, according to military officials.

The releases have been made in conjunction with the Iraqi government, according to a news release issued by Multi-National Force-Iraq.

The number of U.S.-held detainees peaked in November 2007 to about 26,000, but numbers have fallen drastically since then.

More than 15,400 detainees have been released to their families and communities so far this year.

In the most recent sizable release, 2,000 were freed last month in observance of Muslim religious days, officials say.

Before being released, detainees typically must renounce violence and have sponsors, such as religious or tribal leaders, who are willing to take responsibility for their behavior.

The U.S. military considers 5,000 of the current detainees to be dangerous, including suspected members of al-Qaida in Iraq, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. is working to build cases against them because under a security pact approved by Iraqi lawmakers last week, Iraqi authorities would gain control of security matters, the AP reported.

No longer would U.S. troops be able to hold people without charges or evidence.


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