Rockets, car bomb explode in central Baghdad injuring one American
At least 10 rockets exploded Sunday night in central Baghdad near the area housing the headquarters of the US-led occupation, according to officials. Sirens blared for several minutes, and smoke and flames were visible. The military said one American was wounded.
The former Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs was on fire, a witness said. The building already was severely damaged by US bombing during the war last year. A US military mess hall sits behind the building.
The rockets struck at around 7:30 p.m. [local time] on the northern edge of the "Green Zone", which houses the occupation headquarters.
Iraqi police and witnesses said the Russian-made Katyusha rockets were fired from a white Toyota Land Cruiser that was parked near the ministry building. Soon after, the vehicle exploded, but it wasn't clear if that blast was intentional. Earlier, Iraqi officials had said that one of the blasts was caused by a car bomb.
Iraqi police immediately sealed off the area around the Land Cruiser and US armored vehicles rushed out of the "Green Zone", possibly in search of suspects.
The witnesses said the rockets were aimed at the Baghdad Convention Center, a major occupation building where the US military press office is based, and the al-Rasheed Hotel, home to many occupation staff.
Inside the Green Zone, employees at the Baghdad Convention Center fled into the basement, said Army 1st Sgt. Stephen Valley, a military spokesman, according to The AP.
"Everyone's OK. Everyone's been accounted for," Valley said. "They're all down in the basement."
Meanwhile, a US military spokesman confirmed that 10 explosions took place "in the vicinity of" the convention center, and said officials were investigating. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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