Baghdad: More than 20 dead in bombing attack

Published July 25th, 2005 - 05:41 GMT

A suicide car bomber attacked a Baghdad police station Sunday, killing at least 22 people and wounding 30, police said. The U.S. put the death toll at 40. The bomber detonated his charge at the Rashad police station in the eastern neighborhood of Mashtal around 2:50 p.m., said Capt. Mahir Abdul Satar.

 

Six cars, including two police cars, were seen burning and several nearby shops were damaged, police officials said. Body parts lay scattered around the area as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze.

Earlier, scattered attacks across the Iraqi capital of Baghdad left two policemen dead, including a senior police official, according to police and hospital officials.


Lt. Col. Imad Hatam, deputy director of the Kazimiyah police station in northern Baghdad, was killed by unknown gunmen as he was leaving his home for work, confirmed Dr. Muhannad Jawad of Yarmouk Hospital.


Two mortar shells fell near the Ministry of Interior and the police academy in central Baghdad, killing one officer, a police official said under condition of anonymity.


A Baghdad city employee was seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting in western Baghdad as he headed to work, said Capt Talib Thamir of the Amil police station. It was unclear who the assailants were, he was quoted as saying by The AP.

 

Meanwhile, Iraq's al Qaeda wing posted on Saturday a new Internet video of an Egyptian envoy to Iraq it claimed to have killed earlier this month after several reports emerged he may still be alive.

 

The brief footage showed Ihab el-Sherif describing a peace deal between Egypt and Israel, but as in a previous video posted by the group earlier this month, it did not show his actual killing. Sherif's body has not been found.

 

On his part, the Egyptian owner of a mobile phone network in Iraq said he was convinced that Egypt's top envoy, believed slain by his abductors, is most likely alive, because of information he has obtained.

 

The government said it had no indications he was still alive.

 

Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris told The AP that he shared this information with the Egyptian government, but refused to say what it was or where he got it from.

 

Ihab al-Sherif is believed to have been killed after al-Qaeda in Iraq led by Jordanian mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed on July 7 that it murdered him because Egypt intended to restore full diplomatic relations as a sign of support for Iraq's new government.

 

"We have information suggesting that the Egyptian ambassador is still alive and has not been killed," Sawiris told the pro-government al-Gomhouria newspaper, in remarks published last Wednesday that were later confirmed by The AP.

 

Soon after al-Zarqawi's group announced his slaying, the Egyptian government said it had confirmed al-Sherif's death from several sources in Iraq.

 

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, asked about reports al-Sherif might still be alive, said last Wednesday he had no such information.

 

About material evidence of his death, Aboul Gheit said, "We have no leads in this direction.

 

"When an Egyptian diplomat or citizen is kidnapped, it is important to be careful in handling the issue, so that any comments would not result in harm," Aboul Gheit told reporters.

 

Still, Aboul Gheit told parliament last Tuesday that there was a "slim hope" that al-Sherif was still alive, the independent daily Al-Masri al-Youm reported.

© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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