This morning 18 people were killed and another 80 injured in a car bomb attack targeting the Iraqi Ministry of Interior’s Directorate of Investigations and Criminal Justice in Hayy al-Karada in downtown Baghdad.
Sources within the Iraqi Police said that a number of the victims were from their ranks, and they indicated that the Directorate’s building collapsed due to the explosion.
The sources added that the body count is expected to rise, especially since the targeted building normally has a large amount of people (in it) at that time.
A rescue team has already been successful at extracting a number of injured from the rubble of the building that had tens of employees in it before it collapsed.
From his point of view, a photographer belonging to the Reuters news agency said that ambulances and civil defense vehicles rushed to the scene of the incident, adding that the building had suffered vast damage.
It’s worth mentioning that Baghdad had witnessed a new string of car bombings yesterday despite intensified security measures. (The attacks) targeted three hotels and resulted in 36 dead and 71 wounded.
The two attacks came on the same day that the Iraqi Government announced the execution of ‘Ali Husayn al-Majid, the previous Iraqi Minister of Defense and cousin of the late Iraqi President, Saddam Husayn.
Likewise, these attacks also came just a few weeks before the Iraqi elections set for this coming March 7th and could represent a blow for Nuri al-Maliki’s government, according to observers.