Explosion in Baghdad claims 28 lives

Sunday, March 8, 2009

28 people were killed in an suicide bombing attack outside a police recruitment building at 10am local time (UTC+3) in Baghdad, Iraq. The attack occurred in the centre of a crowd outside the police recruitment building. Most of the dead were police recruits, yet civilians and other serving officers were also injured or killed. At least 57 people were injured in the attack. The death toll is the highest reported incident in Iraq for nearly one month.

Insurgents often choose police recruitment centres to attack and this centre, located on Palestine Street, has been previously attacked. In an attempt to prevent such attacks concrete blocks were previously constructed and checkpoints established.

According to a nearby police lieutenant there was a demonstration of about 100 oil employees at an intersection between the police recruitment building and the oil ministry. The bomb went off one hour after the demonstration had started and according to some sources the bomber mingled within the crowd. The police believe that there was an accomplice who remotely detonated the bomber. There may have been a second bomb. Some reports suggest that the suicide bomber crashed into the crowds on a motorcycle and detonated a belt or vest of explosives. An eye-witness said that the police started firing weapons "randomly" after the explosion. Pick-up trucks were used to transport the casualties to hospital afterwards.