Suicide bombing attack targets American HQ in Baghdad, several people reported dead
A huge explosion believed caused by a car bomb rocked central Baghdad on Sunday near the Baghdad Hotel, which is thought to be an office of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in the Iraqi capital. Reports said six to ten people killed and more than 60 were wounded.
Remains of bodies were seen scattered at the scene up to over 100 meters away, including the remains of the suicide bomber, who was driving a Toyota Corolla.
Witnesses said they saw a car ablaze at the Baghdad Hotel, believed to be CIA headquarters. Members of the Iraqi interim council, members of the constitutional committee and ministers are also residing at the hotel. Among the governing council members who are staying at the hotel are, Ezzedine Salim, Wael Abdullatif, Salaheddine Bahaaeldine and the Minister of Migration, Mohammed Jassem and the rapporteur of the constitutional committee, Farzat Ahmed. None of them was hurt.
Police at the scene said at least one police officer was among those killed and several more people were wounded. At least eight policemen were rushed to hospital.
An Iraqi eyewitness said two cars tried to enter a side street leading from Saadoun Street to the Baghdad Hotel, but both exploded. The blast occurred at a checkpoint outside the Hotel.
The blast came just one day after US President Bush said that "Iraq is making progress" despite a steady drumbeat of bad news.
Bush said that progress was coming as a result of his "clear strategy." In his weekly radio address, Bush said Iraq is a place where markets are bustling, shelves are full, oil is flowing and satellite dishes are sprouting up.
"Since the liberation of that country, thousands of new businesses have been launched," Bush said. "With our assistance, Iraqis are building the roads and ports and railways necessary for commerce." (Albawaba.com)