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March 10, 2005

Video of Suicide car bombing that struck Baghdad's agriculture ministry and the Al-Sadeer hotel (Updated)

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

Gunmen and a suicide truck bomb (VIDEO - from Evan F. Kholman)  wreaked havoc early Wednesday at Iraq's agriculture ministry and a neighboring hotel popular with Westerners, killing two security guards and wounding 28 other people.

Al-Qaeda's Iraq contingent, headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed the attack in an Internet statement, saying it targeted the Al-Sadeer hotel, which it branded "a bastion of the Jews."

The synchronised attack saw gunmen, some dressed in police uniforms, kill two security guards before a garbage truck barreled its way into the parking lot behind the ministry and the hotel, where Western contractors were staying.

The truck exploded, gouging a six-foot (two-metre) deep and 12-foot (four-metre) wide crater in the parking lot, directly behind the eight-floor hotel. The blast knocked out all of the hotel's windows and left heaps of debris in front.

More than two dozen vehicles were twisted, burnt and thrown upside down, some piled into a small hill of metal, spewing white smoke.

An annex to the ministry was partially charred and torn apart.

Hat tip for the video to Evan F. Kholman's GlobalTerrorAlert

Update: From the Counterterrorism Blog
Yesterday's devastating suicide bomb attack on the Al-Sadeer Hotel in Baghdad was followed by a flurry of communications by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Al-Qaida faction in Iraq.  The attack was hailed by at least five separate authentic statements from the group, including personal messages of congratulations from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi himself and the reputed head of Al-Qaida's Military Wing in Iraq, Abu Usaid al-Iraqi.

Separately, the Iraqi government has issued an intriguing new press release on the status of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's network inside the Sunni Triangle. The press release includes a superb chart featuring a photo of Abu Talha al-Saudi--one of Zarqawi's most senior lieutenants still at large, believed to be in charge of local military operations in the restive northern city of Mosul.

Also a separate car bombing targeting a U.S. patrol near Fallujah.  [Caution: the videos feature graphic scenes of violence]

Hat tip - the Counterterrorism Blog

Posted by Hyscience at March 10, 2005 7:50 PM

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