Iraq car bombings kill 147

26 Oct

Copied directly from: La Times

By Liz Sly and Usama Redha

Reporting from Bagdad – Twin suicide bombings in the heart of a busy section of downtown Baghdad killed 147 people Sunday in an apparent attempt to undermine Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s government at a time of rising political tensions over crucial national elections due in January.

The attacks outside the Justice Ministry and the Baghdad provincial council headquarters injured an additional 700 people. They were the deadliest bombings in Iraq in more than two years.

The midmorning explosions, in a closely guarded area packed with government buildings, served as a fresh reminder that although U.S. attention has shifted in large part to Afghanistan, Iraq remains a highly volatile place. Some fear it could disintegrate into chaos again even before U.S. forces finish their planned departure.

The car bombings, which occurred within minutes of each nother, also indicated that militants appear to have the capacity to strike at will against key targets, despite repeated claims of progress by Iraqi security forces, which have been in charge since U.S. troops withdrew from Iraqi cities in June.

The explosions ripped through traffic and buildings a block apart on a busy workday, hurling vehicles through the air, incinerating drivers and burning office workers at their desks. Blast walls erected for protection were pulverized. Mangled bodies and pieces of flesh lay strewn around the streets. Water spewed from a destroyed mains and collected in blood-tinged pools. Read More

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