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82 dead, 1,203 injured so far in Baghdad bombing
19/08/2009   |   09:11 PM | World News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
BAGHDAD, Aug 19 (KUNA) -- The Iraqi capital woke up to a bloodbath Wednesday morning, a sky enveloped by black smoke and ground crowded by dead bodies.
An hour before noon, Baghdad was struck by a series of huge bomb blasts on operating ministry buildings and government institutions that frightened families and bewildered security officials.
A death toll of 82 with 1,203 injuries has so far been discovered by security forces, the majority of whom were killed as a result of blasts created by two explosive-strapped vehicles close to the buildings of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to security sources.
Immediately following the incident, President Jalal Talabani along with the Minister of Interior Jawad Al-Bolani discussed security developments amid the terrorist bombings, with the president listening to a specific outline on the reasons behind the blasts and steps taken in regard.
Talabani stressed the need for haste on the issue and required procedures to achieve improved stability and security for the Iraqi people.
Meanwhile, Baghdad security operations laid the responsibility of the incident on what it described as the "Baathist non-believer alliance," which it said was aimed at "undermining the political and security state and successes achieved by (Iraqi) security bodies." The first explosion occurred at 23:45 local time next to the Ministry of Finance building and resulted in its significant damage as well as the collapse of the adjacent Mohammed Al-Qasim highway bridge.
The ministry said in a statement obtained by KUNA that 13 of its employees died in the incident while 270 others were injured.
It also mentioned that a man was driving the explosive-strapped vehicle; a car carrying 1.5 tonnes of explosives. It added that 44 cars on the highway carrying passengers were destroyed as well.
Moments later a bigger explosion went off close to the Foreign Ministry building resulting in the death of 49 people and the injury of dozens.
The explosion involved an explosive-laden lorry, according to Major General Qassim Atta, official spokesperson for Baghdad's Security Operations, who said that the explosion did not target the Ministry of Educations or a hotel both nearby.
A third explosion destroyed a bridge connecting Baya and Yarmouk districts, killing and injuring over 20 people.
The bombings were also accompanied by rocket shelling; one of which landed close to the parliament building causing damage to it and a nearby hotel.
Other rockets landed in Baghdad's Martyrs' Square, close to the UN headquarters and in other areas in the capital.
Iraqi security forces had recently put a stop to two individuals, according to Atta, who had planned an explosion in Al-Mansour district, belonging to what he deemed the "Al-Qaeda Emirs" movement.
Security forces also thwarted an attempt to bomb Ibn Al-Beitar Hospital in Sikak district. Terrorists planned to use a lorry strapped with a tonne of explosives for the act. (end) mhg.sd KUNA 192111 Aug 09NNNN
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