Two Iraqi MPs killed in bombing at parliament

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Eight people, including two members of the Iraqi Council of Representatives were killed in a bomb explosion at a cafe inside the parliamentary building in Baghdad during lunchtime.

The canteen was just filling up ... the session was just ending and all of a sudden there was just this huge explosion.

—MP Haydar Abbadi

Approximately 20 people are reported wounded in the attack inside the heavily fortified Green Zone. According to a BBC report, the cafe where the bomb was detonated was frequented by Iraqi MPs. The parliament had closed for lunch only ten minutes earlier and the cafe was at the start of a busy period.

In order for the bomber to reach his target, he would have had to pass through several armed checkpoints, leading to suspicions that the bomb was smuggled in separately. However, according to Associated Press (AP) reports, a scanner used to check pedestrians at the Green Zone entrance near the Council of Representatives was not operational. People were searched by hand or went through metal detectors, and dogs were used to check people entering the building earlier in the day, a rare occurrence, AP said. It is suspected that a bodyguard of one of the lawmakers smuggled in the bomb.

The attack follows an attack on a major bridge across the River Tigris, which was damaged with a truck bomb.

United States military spokesperson Major-General William Caldwell said the blast bore the hallmarks of Sunni Islamist al Qaeda, which has been resurgent in recent weeks despite Operation Law and Order.