Three explosions shake central Baghdad
Sunday 04 April 2010
Three loud explosions shook central Baghdad in quick succession today, killing at least 12 people and breaking a period of relative calm in the Iraqi capital after elections last month.
One of the blasts struck near the Iranian Embassy, said Major General Qassim al-Moussawi, a spokesman for the city's operations command centre. The other two were in western Baghdad.
At least 12 people were killed and 42 were injured in the explosion outside the embassy, which was believed to have been caused by an explosives-packed car driven by a suicide attacker, according to two police officers and a hospital doctor. They said many of the victims were employees at a nearby state-run bank.
Iran's ambassador to Iraq, Hasan Kazemi Qomi, said it was unclear whether the blast was targeting the embassy itself.
"The explosion happened at the embassy gate, targeting visitors and Iraqi police," he said. "There was some damage to the embassy building but no employees were harmed inside."
The force of the blasts shook buildings and rattled windows in the centre of the capital. At least two plumes of grey smoke rose above the capital, one near the centre of the city and another in the western part of the capital.
The blasts come two days after an execution-style attack in which at least 24 Sunnis were killed. The slayings reignited fears of the sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007.
The bloodshed comes amid increasing concerns that insurgents will take advantage of Iraq's political turmoil to further destabilise the country, nearly a month after parliamentary elections failed to give any candidate a decisive win.
Many fear a drawn-out political debate could spill over into violence and complicate American efforts to speed up troop withdrawals in the coming months.
Footage aired on state television shortly after the blasts showed bystanders near the Iranian Embassy loading casualties into police vehicles and ambulances. One man was carrying the body of a small girl.
The explosions, which occurred shortly before 10.30am, came after a number of far smaller blasts overnight. One of those earlier blasts, believed to be caused by a bomb underneath a parked car, killed one civilian and injured nine others, according to police.
Bali Nine executions live: Indonesian firing squad shoots dead eight drug offenders despite outcry around world, but a ninth is spared
Keith Harris dead: Orville the Duck ventriloquist dies aged 67 following battle with cancer
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...
£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...