Baghdad - At least 130 people were killed and over 500 injured in two bomb attacks in Baghdad on Sunday. The blasts hit Iraq’s Ministry of Justice and a provincial government office, police said.
It was the deadliest attack in Iraq since August 2007. Smoke billowed from the area near the Tigris River after two vehicles packed with explosives blew up just outside the Green Zone.
Iraqi officials have said the toll is likely to rise, as rescue workers are searching for survivors.
The attacks drew comparisons with those of August 19, when truck bombs hit two ministry compounds and killed over 100 people.
The area near the provincial government building was flooded with water and firefighters pulled charred and torn bodies off the streets.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who went to the bomb site, said “These cowardly terrorist attacks must not affect the determination of the Iraqi people to continue their struggle against the remnants of the dismantled regime and Al-Qaeda terrorists, who committed a brutal crime against civilians.”
“They want to cause chaos in the nation, hinder the political process, and prevent the parliamentary election,” he added.
The Iranian ambassador to Baghdad said that no Iranian citizens were killed or injured.
Ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi made the remarks shortly after the attack.
The double bombing occurred near the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad but only part of the building was damaged, Kazemi Qomi told ISNA.
He said the terrorists carried out the attacks in order to scare people ahead of the upcoming parliamentary election.
Unfortunately, over the past few years, the United States has made no efforts to help Iraq establish a strong army and police force that could counter terrorism, he noted.
He also predicted that there would be more security challenges in the run-up to the election.
However, security problems are less serious in southern Iraq and the Kurdistan region because local forces protect those areas, he added.
Hopefully, the Iraqi government will take the measures necessary to ensure that the parliamentary election is not postponed due to terrorist actions, the Iranian ambassador said.
October 25, 09