The LAT says that at least 41 persons were killed and 237 were wounded by three suicide bomb attacks targeting the Iranian and German embassies and the Egyptian consulate. Most of those killed or injured were civilians who happened to be in those areas.
The bombings likely are aimed at hurting the chances of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for a second term. His claim to fame had been that he restored some security to Basra and Baghdad. His rival, the Iraqi National Movement of Iyad Allawi, immediately took advantage of the bombings to complain about poor security measures. But an official quoted in the al-Hayat article below pointed out that the bombers had hoped to drive their vehicles into the embassies, and had been prevented from doing so by Iraqi security, thus foiling what would have been a major blow against the Iraqi government’s standing with the outside world. Another Iraqi observer is quoted by Sawt al-Iraq as saying that the bombers were sending a message to the outside world that Iraq is still too dangerous to open an embassy there.
The pan-Arab London daily Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that actually the third bomb was set off between a residence used by the German embassy and the Syrian embassy. Correspondent Jawdat Kadhim in Baghdad says that the Egyptian government confirmed that four consulate employees were injured in the blast, which it roundly condemned. He says that an off-duty guard for the German establishment is also reported killed.
An eyewitness to the attack on the Egyptian consulate in the western district of al-Mansur said, “The suicide bomber was alone, driving a small Kia truck. He headed toward the building housing the Egyptian consulate. When the guards requested that he stop, he continued even faster. When they opened fire on him, he immediately detonated his vehicle.
The Iranian ambassador to Iraq, Hasan Kazemi Qomi, condemned the attack in Karrada near his embassy as an act of terrorism. He added, “We are not positive that our embassy was the target.” He said that none of his employees had been injured.
The attacks are the most deadly since January 25, when bombers killed 36 and wounded around 70. Two one-day bombing campaigns in August and October 2009 were also similar, though they demolished government buildings attached to ministries.
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