Baghdad bombing kills several people, scores injured

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A suicide car bomb exploded yesterday outside a government forensic center in Baghdad, Iraq. According to government sources, at least eighteen people died in the incident while 80 were injured.

The suicide bomber attempted to drive through a police checkpoint and demolish the walls of the forensic center, located in the Kerrada district. The building was badly hit by the explosion. Fire engines and ambulances rushed to the scene, with rescue workers searching the rubble for bodies.

An eyewitness, Hassan al-Saidi, stated: "I've heard many explosions in the past, but nothing like this." He claimed that he saw five demolished vehicles and at least a dozen people injured by shrapnel.

Iraqi military spokesperson Major General Qassim Atta said the forensics center had been targeted twice in the past.

The latest incident came one day after an attack on three separate Iraqi hotels claimed 36 lives. Major General Qassim al-Moussawi, who is the security operations spokesman, had earlier claimed that security had been tightened after the hotel blasts and a committee had been formed to probe into the attack. "Because we are at war, we expect such terrorist attacks [...] Al Qaeda is still able to mount such attacks occasionally where there are weaknesses in our security measures," said Moussawi, before Tuesday's blast.

The attack is the latest of a series of bombings at ministry offices and other secure centers. It comes few weeks before March 7, the day of Iraq's general elections.