Huge explosions rock Baghdad, leaving heavy casualties

16:57, April 05, 2010      

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by Xinhua writers Xu Yanyan and Jamal Ahmed

Deadly attacks on Sunday occurred in central and western Baghdad respectively, when three suicide bombers coordinately struck the Iranian embassy, the consulate office of the Egyptian embassy and the residence of German ambassador, killing a total of 33 people and wounding 224 others, including security members.

Due to the close range between the Iranian embassy and Al- Mansour hotel which houses some foreign media, when the explosion took place at about 11:20 a.m. (0820 GMT), the shock wave of the huge blast badly damaged the office of China's official Xinhua News Agency, with ceiling fell down.

A Xinhua reporter, who was taking photos of the just motar- attacked Green Zone on his room terrace, was pushed over by the shock wave of the blast and saw the whole site some 100 meters away was under great dust cloud.

Heavy gunshot was heard at the scene. Ambulances and cars of Iraqi security forces rushed to the site and tried to save people who were wounded in the attack, despite a possible second-bomb attack which usually targets ambulancemen.

About two minutes before, a massive explosion occurred near the Egyptian consulate office in Baghdad's western district of Mansour, which destroyed several houses and caused damages to the office building, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

One of the Iraqi guards of the Egyptian consulate was among the killed and four others were wounded by the blast that left a crater of about five meters wide in the street, the source added.

"Our house is totally destroyed, what have we done to be punished this way, we are now homeless," a woman in her 40s told Xinhua as she was crying with her three younger sisters for their destroyed house near the Egyptian consulate.

The attack that targeted the house of the German ambassador in the same district, the first of the series that came only several minutes before the second one, destroyed the house and caused severe damages to nearby buildings, including the Spanish and the Syrian embassies.

According to the latest figure from the source of Interior Ministry, a total of 33 people were killed and 224 others were wounded in the most deadly Baghdad attacks since the parliamentary elections.

Qassim Atta, spokesman of Baghdad Operations Command, said the security forces had foiled a fourth suicide car bomb attack when they shot dead the attacker and defused his explosive-laden vehicle in Baghdad central neighborhood of Masbah.

The fourth bomber was targeting the headquarters of police tasked with protecting foreign embassies, Atta said.

Source: Xinhua


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