Baghdad: At least 41 die in blasts near foreign embassies

Published April 5th, 2010 - 06:50 GMT

Three huge blasts rocked central Baghdad in quick succession Sunday, killing at least 41 people and wounding about 170. One of the blasts struck near the Iranian Embassy, said Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, a spokesman for the city's operations command center. The other two were in western Baghdad.

 

At least 12 people died and 42 were hurt in the blast outside the Iranian embassy, which was believed to have been caused by an explosives-packed car driven by a suicide attacker, according to two police officers and a hospital doctor. According to the AP, they said many of the victims were employees at a nearby state-run bank.

 

Iran's ambassador to Iraq, Hasan Kazemi Qomi, said it was unclear whether the blast was targeting the embassy itself. "The explosion happened at the embassy gate, targeting visitors and Iraqi police," he said. "There was some damage to the embassy building but no employees were harmed inside." Another attack took place near the Egyptian embassy while the third not far from the German embassy.

 

The explosions, which occurred shortly before 10:30 a.m., came after a number of far smaller blasts overnight. One of those earlier blasts, believed to be caused by a bomb underneath a parked car killed one civilian and injured nine others, according to police.

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