A suicide car bomber Tuesday attacked a police headquarters in Basra, killing at least three policemen, wounding 20 other people and raising fears about security in the oil-rich southern city now that British forces have withdrawn.
Maj. Gen. Abdul-Jalil Khalaf, Basra's police chief, said the suicide bomber's legs were found tied to the steering wheel. Khalaf blamed al-Qaida in Iraq for the attack, even though the terror movement was believed to have virtually presence in the Basra area.
The attack occurred about 8 a.m. when the driver, wearing a traditional Arab robe and headgear, tried to steer his explosives-laden sedan into the downtown police headquarters building but was blocked by concrete barriers, Khalaf said. The blast damaged nearby buildings and set several parked cars ablaze, witnesses reported.
Fears about security in Basra have been mounting since the British army left its last position within the city on Sept. 2 and redeployed to the municipal airport, about 20 kilometers to the north.