Suicide bomb Baghdad.
(photo credit: AP)
A suicide car bomber
killed at least 18 and injured dozens more Tuesday in a strike against
a police crime lab in central Baghdad, a day after several hotels were
hit by suicide attacks, officials said.
Rescue crews are still
combing through the rubble looking for casualties. Officials say the
majority of those killed were likely police officers who worked in the
forensic investigation office at Tahariyat Square in the central
neighborhood of Karradah. At least 82 people were reported injured.
week's bombings — all against prominent and heavily fortified targets —
dealt yet another blow to the image of an Iraqi government struggling
to answer for security lapses that have allowed bombers to carry out a
number of massive attacks in the heart of the capital since August.
and hospital officials said the bomber in Tuesday's attack tried to
drive a pickup truck through a checkpoint and blast walls protecting
the forensic evidence office.
Among those confirmed killed were
12 police officers and six civilians who were visiting the office.
Officials said more than half the wounded were police.
after the bombing, rescue teams in blue jumpsuits combed through the
debris of the partially damaged three-story building as a crane removed
some of the 10-foot, 7-ton concert blast walls toppled by the blast.
office targeted in the attack mainly deals with data collected during
criminal investigations, including fingerprints and other pieces of
evidence. The office is located next to the Interior Ministry's major
crimes office, which deals with terrorism cases.
offices have been frequent targets of major attacks in the capital
since blasts struck the foreign and finance ministries in August,
raising questions about the ability of Iraqi security forces to keep
the country safe. While the criminal evidence offices have not been
targeted by a major suicide bombing before, attackers have struck
The attack destroyed rooms on the ground floor of the
building and damaged parts of the second floor, raising fears the
number of casualties could grow, a police officer on the scene said.
The office is surrounded by low-rise buildings that contain shops, takeaway restaurants and offices that were also damaged.
Tuesday's attack comes one day after a series of bombings targeting hotels favored by Westerners.
toll from those blasts continued to rise, with 41 people confirmed
killed and up to 106 reported injured, police and health officials said
The bombings Monday targeted the Sheraton Ishtar Hotel,
Babylon Hotel and Hamra Hotel, which are popular with Western
journalists and foreign security contractors.
All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release details.
US Ambassador Christopher R. Hill issued a statement Tuesday strongly condemning the attacks against the hotels.
terrorists who committed these senseless crimes aim to sow fear among
the Iraqi people," he said. "We call upon all Iraqis to unite in
combating all forms of violence and attempts at intimidation."
on Tuesday, Ahmed Fadhil Hassan al-Majid, the nephew of the man known
as Chemical Ali arrived in Baghdad to collect the body of Saddam
Hussein's cousin and close deputy who was hanged Monday.
A grave was dug for Ali Hassan al-Majid near his hometown of Tikrit next to Saddam's two sons and grandson.