Iraq FM expects more powerful attacks
Iraq's foreign minister said Saturday that Iraqis should expect for bigger, more powerful attacks to strike Baghdad in the coming days and called on the government to immediately fix security holes within its forces. "We have to face the truth. There has been an obvious deterioration in the security situation in the past two months," Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters.
"What is coming might be bigger attacks, and the government needs to shoulder its responsibility and deal with the security inefficiencies."
Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has ordered security tightened and concrete blast walls to remain around potential targets in the aftermath of recent deadly bombings, reversing an order earlier this month to remove the walls in Baghdad by mid-September. "Regrettably, we accepted the order to remove concrete walls and removal of a joint checkpoint near the ministry," Zebari said, according to the AP.
The minister said the prime minister ordered the detention of officers from several branches of Iraq's security forces as part of an investigation into the latest blasts. "What has happened, the number of victims and the destruction of government institutions, is a real national disaster," he said. Zebari said better, stronger security procedures need to be put in place.
Meanwhile, an attack at an Iraqi military checkpoint Saturday came in an area in northern Baghdad where Iraqi security forces also started dismantling concrete blast walls to open major roads. Gunmen shot dead two troops during a drive-by on the checkpoint at about 6 a.m. in Azamiyah, an Iraqi security official said.
In northern Iraq, a bomb exploded inside the office of a Mosul district administrator, killing the district chief and two others, said an Iraqi police official.