23 Killed 2 Americans 130 Injured

23 Killed (2 Americans), 130 Injured (including 6 Americans) in Baghdad Car Bombing

AFP has raised the casualty count to as many as 23-25 killed and 130 wounded in the Baghdad car bombing of the US headquarters there.

The huge explosion turned the busy central Baghdad street outside into a battlefield inferno but the headquarters buildings inside the heavily-fortified area known as the Green Zone were unaffected. The blast came the day before Iraqi and US officials, including US civilian administrator Paul Bremer, are to meet with a wary UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York to discuss a future UN role in Iraq. “At least 20 people have lost their lives and almost 60 were injured,” US Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt told reporters. “It would appear from all the indicators this was a suicide bomb. We have confirmation some of those killed were US citizens, US contractors. We believe the current number is two. We are waiting for final confirmation,” Kimmitt said. Another five people were reported dead and 71 wounded at Baghdad hospitals. Witnesses claimed US soldiers opened fire in panic on Iraqis moments after the blast, but a military spokesman denied this.

Earlier AP had reported,

Officials said more than 60 people, including six Americans, were injured in the blast on a mist-shrouded morning near the north entrance — known as the “Assassin’s Gate” — to Saddam’s former Republican Palace complex, now used by the U.S.-led occupation authority for headquarters.

I’d say there is increasing evidence that the US is not in control in Iraq, and that the place may well be headed toward being a failed state for the near term. When, 9 or 10 months after an army conquers a place, its HQ is not safe from attack, this is always a bad sign. For those who keep making Germany and Japan analogies, I ask you if MacArthur’s HQ was getting blown up in Tokyo in April of 1946.