Sunday, February 18, 2007

At Least 55 Killed in Suicide Bomb Attacks

Twin Explosions in Busy Baghdad Market Injure 127 Others

BAGHDAD, Feb. 18 -- Two suicide bombers detonated explosives in a busy market in central Baghdad Sunday, killing more than 55 people and undermining Iraqi officials' claim that the Baghdad security plan is off to a "fabulous" start.

The bomb exploded in quick succession at approximately 3:30 p.m. in a busy commercial area in the New Baghdad neighborhood, sending a thick plume of smoke that darkened an otherwise splendid day in the capital.

It is the first large bombing since the security plan was launched on Wednesday.

American and Iraqi soldiers dashed to the scene and cordoned it off as dozens of injured people were taken to hospitals.

The Associated Press reported that at least 56 were killed and 127 injured, and attributed the information to police and other emergency response personnel. Iraqi security officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The bombing comes a day after Iraqi officials lauded what they described as the prompt results of stiffened security measures taken earlier this week. On Saturday, the commander of the security plan held a press conference to announce what he said was an 85 percent drop in attacks since the new measures went into effect.

In addition, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki suggested Friday that a lull in violence was a promising sign that the security plan was off to a good start. In a telephone conversation he assured President Bush that the plan "has achieved fabulous success," officials in the prime minister's office reported.

Click for more

No comments: