13 dead in Iraq car bomb blast
Monday 04 June 2012
A car bomb has exploded near two government offices in central Baghdad, killing at least 13 people and wounding more than 50.
Two police officials say the car was parked near an office for Shiite Muslim religious affairs and the city's health department in the Bab al-Muadham area.
The explosion at 11am local time damaged nearby buildings and cars.
A doctor in a nearby hospital confirmed the casualty figures.
The powerful car bomb tore the facade off of Iraq's main religious affairs office for Shiite Muslims and the death toll was raised to at least 18 - making it the deadliest single attack in the capital in three months.
The blast came at a time of prolonged political paralysis in Iraq caused by sectarian tensions. It followed a series of attacks that killed 17 people in Baghdad last week.
Adel Ahmed, an employee at the nearby Baghdad Health Department, said he was reading a newspaper in his office when he heard the blast.
"The ceiling fell on my head and I was slightly wounded in the head and fell down," he said. He added that he walked to the scene of the explosion and saw wounded people on the ground screaming for help. "The scene was horrific," he said.
Two police officials said the explosives-rigged car was parked near the religious affairs building and the health department. The front of the three-story religious affairs office collapsed from the impact of the blast.
Firefighters were searching the debris for survivors. The blast also shattered nearby windows and damaged cars in the area.
The damaged building housed the so-called Shiite endowment, or department that supervises Shiite religious affairs, including holy sites and mosques across Iraq.
Violence has fallen in Iraq since a wave of sectarian bloodshed in 2006 and 2007, but insurgents carry out frequent attacks on security forces and civilians to undermine the Shiite-led government following the pullout of US forces in December.
A unity government headed by prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, has been largely paralysed since the withdrawal of the US troops.
There is mounting criticism of Mr al-Maliki within the ruling coalition, over complaints that he is shutting out Iraq's two main minorities - Kurds and Sunni Muslims - in decision-making. However, his opponents appear to fall short of a needed majority in parliament to bring down him down.
sportLiverpool 5 Norwich City 1: Uruguayan striker has now scored 11 league goals against the club
filmWith more than 70 per cent of early films lost, archivists are scouring the world to preserve the precious examples that remain
NFL fans were so loud during a match that their celebrations registered as a minor earthquake
Tyre firm aimed to show how their tyres would perform in ‘unexpected’ conditions
North Korea: Kim Jong Un 'sacks powerful uncle and has his aides executed'
What made Charles Saatchi grab my throat, by Nigella Lawson - as she accuses him of threatening to 'destroy' her with drug claims
Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
Food poverty in UK has reached level of 'public health emergency', warn experts
Tom Daley's 'boyfriend' revealed to be screenwriter Dustin Lance Black
- 1 The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 UK chef creates world's most expensive ready meal - a fish pie costing £314
- 4 Food poverty in UK has reached level of 'public health emergency', warn experts
- 5 I’m sure Kate Moss doesn't care about posing for Playboy. But I do
£50000 - £70000 per annum + London: Harrington Starr: Senior Automation QA Eng...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits : Harrington Starr: SQL 2008 R2/2012 Deve...
£38000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Creative Audit Se...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, P...