Iraqi bombs kill 95, injure 500
Updated on 19 August 2009
A series of bomb blasts and mortar attacks in central Baghdad kills at least 95 people, with up to 500 more injured. Carl Dinnen reports.
One explosion was close enough to the Iraqi parliament in the heavily-fortified green zone that television pictures filmed inside showed the building shaking.
The deadliest strike was a car bomb near the foreign ministry, which killed at least 95 people and wounded 250.
It is the deadliest attack in Iraq this year.
The force of the explosion blew concrete slabs off the front of the ten story building, shattering windows and crushing cars parked outside.
"The windows of the Foreign Ministry shattered, slaughtering the people inside. I could see ministry workers, journalists and security guards among the dead," said a distraught ministry employee who gave her name as Asia.
The attacks are the worst since US forces withdrew from Iraq's city centres in June.
Mostly Shi'ite Muslim venues such as mosques have been targeted by bombings in the past two months in the capital and northern Iraq, where insurgents such as al-Qaida have -exploited disputes between the region's Kurds and Arabs.
Earlier this month the government in Baghdad said most of the city's blast walls should be removed within forty days.
This was a step considered a sign of confidence ahead of national elections which are due to take place in June.
Today's bombings have undermined confidence in the government's ability to ensure security, on which Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has staked his reputation.