Up to 40 people were killed in a series of near simultaneous bombings in Baghdad including a suicide car bombing outside the Red Cross and four Iraqi police stations. We go to Baghdad to hear from Pacifica Radio’s Jerry Quickley.
The Associated Press is reporting that up to 40 people have died today in a series of near simultaneous bombings in Baghdad. A suicide car bombing outside the Red Cross killed 12 marking the biggest bombing against an international organization since mid-August when the UN headquarters was bombed killing 22. Four Iraqi police stations were also bombed today. A fifth station was targeted but police stopped the attack. Police reported the would-be bomber was screaming at the time of his arrest `Death to the Iraqi police! You’re collaborators!’”
The bombing at the Red Cross came one day after the Baghdad hotel where Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was staying came under rocket attack.
A U.S. colonel was killed and 18 people were injured in the attack on the al Rasheed. Wolfowitz was forced to evacuate the hotel. He was uninjured. The hotel, which also came under fire four weeks ago, has been described as the nerve center of the U.S. occupation. It houses hundreds of top officials with the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, the military and defense contractors. The Pentagon said Wolfowitz was not likely the target of the attack but hours before the blast Wolfowitz’s motorcade had to be rerouted through Baghdad after a bomb was found along the planned route. Wolfowitz was one of the chief architects of the invasion of Iraq. He was on a three-day visit of Iraq to highlight some of the successes over the past six months.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Iraqi opposition forces downed a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter near Tikrit. And three employees of the British firm European Landmine Solutions died when their convoy came under attack 50 miles west of Baghdad. Two survivors of the attack told the Associated Press they had been fired upon by U.S. forces. U.S officials denied the charges. The Pentagon also reported that three more U.S. soldiers were killed on Sunday.
Today’s attacks coincided with the start of Ramadan. U.S. officials had warned the start of the Muslim Holy Month may lead to an increased number of attacks against occupation forces.
- Jerry Quickley, producer and correspondent for Pacifica Radio speaking to us from Baghdad.