Twin car bombs kill 27 near bank in Baghdad

Suicide car bombers strike crowded area outside bank in Iraqi capital.

Iraq car bomb 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Iraq car bomb 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
BAGHDAD — Two suicide car bombers struck a crowded area outside a state-run bank Sunday in Baghdad, killing nearly 30 people in the latest attack targeting a high-profile part of the capital.
The blast, which tore the glass facade off the three-story Trade Bank of Iraq building, leaving chairs and desks exposed, occurred shortly after 11 a.m. as the area was packed with people at the start of the local work week.
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Iraqi officials initially said the explosives-packed cars were parked a few hundred yards (meters) apart, but later said the attacks were staged by suicide bombers.
Security forces swarmed through the debris while cleanup crews used cranes to move the charred wreckage of several vehicles destroyed by the blast.
Persistent bombings in Baghdad and surrounding areas have raised fears that insurgents are stepping up attacks in a bid to foment unrest by exploiting the political deadlock following inconclusive March 7 parliamentary elections.
Last week, suspected al-Qaida militants in Iraq stormed the central bank and exchanged gunfire with Iraqi security forces in a standoff that brought part of the capital to a standstill.
One employee said nobody in the Trade Bank building, which was surrounded by a concrete wall, was killed in the attack, although some were wounded.