In Iraq nearly sixty people have died in Baghdad over the past twenty-four hours in a pair of bombings. Earlier today a suicide bomber killed at least eighteen in a strike against the Interior Ministry offices. The majority of those killed were Iraqi police officers. On Monday, forty-one people died in a series of blasts at three Baghdad hotels which are popular with Western journalists and foreign security contractors. The Hamra Hotel housed the Washington Post's bureau in Baghdad. Three of the paper's Iraqi employees were wounded in the blast. Major General Stephen Lanza, a spokesperson for US forces in Baghdad, blamed the bombings on al-Qaeda.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza: “We believe that these will continue to some degree in the future, but they certainly won’t stop the overall security that has been achieved in this country and then moving us towards the national elections on 7 March.”