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Jordan: Embassy bombers 'cowards'

Looters burn photo of late King Hussein of Jordan
A photo of the late King Hussein of Jordan is burned by looters.

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A car bomb exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, killing at least 10 people.
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CNN's Rym Brahimi on the explosion at the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Jordan says it will continue to support the Iraqi people, despite a "cowardly" bomb attack on its embassy in Baghdad which killed at least 10 people.

Five Iraqi policemen who were guarding the compound were among the victims of Thursday's car bomb. Some Iraqi civilians also died and about 40 other people were injured.

Crowds rushed the embassy after the explosion, looting parts of the facility and burning pictures of Jordan's present King Abdullah II and his father, the late King Hussein. U.S. officials then cordoned off the area.

The wreckage of six cars burned outside the embassy as makeshift fire crews worked to put out the flames in front of the shattered facade of the compound. (Gallery)

Jordanian officials said employees inside the embassy received only slight injuries. (On the scene)

Nobody has claimed responsibility but the bomb comes amid tension between Iraq and Jordan, which supported to U.S.-led war on Iraq.

Nabil al-Sharif, Jordan's Minister of Information, said the "cowardly" attack was aimed at "deviating Jordan from its path of support for Iraq."

He added: "It's not going to happen. We are going to support Iraqi people and extend all possible help in order to continue this process of stabilization in this brotherly country."

Bernard Kerik, former New York police commissioner who is overseeing the reconstruction of the Iraqi police force, said: "We had persons unknown pull a vehicle in front of the embassy -- the Jordanian Embassy -- stop the vehicle, exit the vehicle and walk away, and the vehicle sometime later was detonated with a large amount of explosives inside." (CNN Access: Kerik on security efforts)

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of American ground forces in Iraq, said U.S. forces had responded as soon as the bomb exploded.

He called the attack the most significant against a "soft target" since Baghdad fell, adding: "We've got some terrorists operating here.

"We're still in a conflict zone. We've got to join together to put an end to this violence that exists here in Iraq."

A U.S. tank stands outside the embassy after Thursday's bomb.
A U.S. tank stands outside the embassy after Thursday's bomb.

Jordan is a major entry point into Iraq and remains a large trading partner. But some Iraqis are resentful that Jordan dropped its support for Saddam Hussein after the 1991 Gulf War, and allowed U.S. troops to use its soil as a base during the latest war.

King Abdullah II last week granted "humanitarian asylum" to two eldest daughters of Saddam, Raghad, 35, and Rana, 33, whose husbands took refuge in Jordan but were lured back and killed by Saddam's regime. (Full story, Interview)

In a separate incident, two U.S. soldiers from the 1st Armored Division were killed in a firefight late Wednesday in Baghdad's al Rasheed neighborhood, according to U.S. Central Command.

One soldier died on scene, the other died later from wounds. An interpreter was also wounded.

They were the first U.S. military deaths from hostile fire since a soldier was killed Friday.

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