Irak: the deadliest attack since the invasion of 2003 kills 147 people

951.jpgIn this photo released by the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, center, visits the site of a massive bomb attack at the headquarters of the provincial administration in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009. Two powerful suicide car bombs blew up outside the Justice Ministry and city government offices in downtown Baghdad Sunday, killing scores of people in the worst attack in more than two years. Iraqi leaders said the attacks aimed to disrupt political progress in the months leading up to January’s crucial elections. (AP Photo/Iraqi Prime Minister’s office)
Two bloody suicide car bombs went off in front of the headquarters of the Baghdad provincial administration and near the Ministry of Justice building during the morning rush hour as people headed to work. The blasts left at least 147 dead and over 700 injured Sunday morning in central Baghdad according to hospital sources and police, and occurred less than a minute apart.

This is the deadliest attack in Iraq for over two years, committed as Iraq will hold elections next January. There were so many wounded that there were not enough ambulances to transport them; hospital emergency services had no recourse but to use private cars to deal with the situation.

Iraqi security forces indicated that the attacks were aimed specifically at government institutions, as they are several in this area which happens to be near the “green zone” ; this is where the Prime Minister of Iraq is located as well as the United States Embassy.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said that the perpetrators of this attack “have publicly declared that they are targeting the state (…) and they are trying to block the political process, suspend, and destroy what we have done over the last six years. ”

President Barack Obama condemned the “outrageous acts” and assured US support to Iraqi authorities while lauding ‘the courage and resilience’ of the Iraqi people against the ‘hateful and destructive action’ of the terrorists. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on all Iraqis to unite against these deplorable acts, and to work in the most urgent to protect the political progress of Iraq.