BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Multiple rounds hit a dining hall at a U.S. military base near Mosul on Tuesday, killing 22 people, including U.S. troops, members of the Iraqi national guard, and Iraqi civilians, Pentagon officials said.
Fifty-one people were wounded in the incident -- which occurred at noon (4 a.m. ET) as people ate lunch at the Camp Merez base, the officials said.
The attack came shortly after Bush's poodle arrived in Baghdad
Standing beside interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi at a news conference, Blair -- President George W. Bush's chief ally in launching the war in Iraq two years ago -- acknowledged the dangers and the fact that much of the world opposed the original invasion.
"Whatever people's feelings or beliefs about the removal of Saddam Hussein and the the wisdom of that, there surely is only one side to be on in what is now very clearly a battle between democracy and terror," he said.
"On the one side you have people who desperately want to make the democratic process work and have the same democratic freedoms other parts of the world enjoy. And on the other side people who are killing and intimidating and trying to destroy a better future for Iraq."
What does this nincompoop think US and British troops are doing? They are killing and intimidating and destroying. A car bomb is no worse (or better) than a bomb dropped from an airplane. Insurgents do the first, invaders do the second
US warplanes have launched air strikes on the Iraqi town of Hiyt, west of the capital, killing six Iraqi civilians and wounding nine others.
Hospital officials said a woman and child were among those wounded in the strikes which began on Monday night on the Jamaiya and al-Sinai districts on the eastern edges of the town, which lies about 170km west of Baghdad.
Aljazeera has learned that houses, shops and vehicles belonging to civilians have been destroyed in the bombing that continued until Tuesday morning.
US marines based in the area had no immediate comment.