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Old 08-19-2003, 10:53 AM   #1
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Bombing in Baghdad

I decided to start another thread with this article from my ISP's headlines. This is dreadful.




By Michael Georgy and Luke Baker

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A massive truck bomb ripped through the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, killing at least three people and wounding scores, witnesses said. It may have been a suicide attack, a top U.S. official said.

Among those badly hurt was Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special representative to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

A U.N. official said the diplomat was trapped in his wrecked office, which appeared to be the target of the unidentified bombers.

Clouds of black smoke floated skyward, ruffling the world organization's sky blue flag in the late afternoon air. U.N. workers said many colleagues were still missing in the rubble.

There was no claim of responsibility, just as there was none two weeks ago when a truck bomb shattered the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad, killing 17 people. The U.S. occupation forces say Muslim militants or diehard supporters of Saddam Hussein might have set that bomb to destabilize American rule in Iraq.

"The explosion was caused by a massive truck bomb," Bernard Kerik, the senior U.S. police official in Baghdad, said. "We have evidence to suggest it could have been a suicide attack."

The U.N. uses the Canal Hotel in east central Baghdad as the headquarters for a wide number of its agencies, employing hundreds of staff. It was the base for weapons inspectors during the long hunt for Saddam's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Uday Ahad, an Iraqi security guard at the building, said: "Many Iraqis and foreigners were wounded." He said he had carried three dead from the rubble.

"Suddenly there was an explosion and everything fell down. There are lots of people inside because no one had gone home yet," said Fouad Victor, a U.N. employee who was inside when the blast struck at about 4:30 p.m.

CHIEF TRAPPED, MANY MISSING

Television pictures from inside the building showed a person talking at a news conference when it went dark at the sound of a huge explosion. Pictures returned showing a murky scene of dust and frightened people with bloodied faces seeking to flee.

U.S. helicopters circled overhead as bleeding workers were led away by soldiers. One British man, covered in blood, walked out of the compound with a briefcase, head swathed in bandages.

United Nations spokeswoman Veronique Taveau said a headcount was being taken to determine the number of people still missing.

"Many, many people have been wounded," she told Reuters.

U.N. official Selim Lone told the BBC by telephone from the scene that rescue workers were struggling to free Vieira de Mello, a 55-year-old Brazilian career diplomat, from the ruins.

"All this happened right below the window of Sergio Vieira de Mello. I guess it was targeted for that," Lone said.

The United Nations is playing a limited role in postwar Iraq, with the U.S.-led invasion forces assuming military and civilian control of the country. The U.N.'s main objectives have been the provision of humanitarian aid.

After sharp splits with allies on the U.N. Security Council over the war, Washington has shown little haste in seeking a bigger part for the United Nations in Iraq, although it would like more countries to share the burden of running the country.

Just hours before, U.S. and Kurdish officials in Iraq announced the detention overnight of Saddam's vice president, Taha Yassin Ramadan, in Mosul, the Iraqi city where the fugitive dictator's sons were cornered and killed last month.

The seizure by Kurdish forces of such a high-profile member of Saddam's inner circle will fuel speculation that U.S. forces are still hot on the trail of the ousted Iraqi leader himself.

Ramadan, a ruthless and long-serving lieutenant who once suggested President Bush fight a duel with Saddam, may have been betrayed by an informant in Mosul -- like Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay -- or captured after a tip-off.

BUSH HAILS CAPTURE

"I'm really pleased that we've captured the vice president. Slowly but surely we'll find who we need to find," Bush said.

As vice president, Ramadan launched suicide bombers against American forces during the invasion that toppled the regime. He was No. 20 on the U.S. list of the 55 most wanted Iraqis and the 10 of diamonds in a deck of cards issued to U.S. troops.

The U.S. military says supporters of Saddam, and some foreign militants, are behind a guerrilla campaign that has killed 61 U.S. soldiers since the start of May.

In the latest ambush, a rocket-propelled grenade and gun attack on a U.S. convoy north of Baghdad wounded two American soldiers early Tuesday, the U.S. military said.

The U.S. administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, said foreign militants were entering Iraq from Syria and urged Damascus to cooperate more in stopping the flow, a newspaper reported.

"The truth is that there are still problems and there are still foreign terrorists entering Iraq across the borders from Syria," Bremer told the Arab daily al-Hayat. "We have discussed this with the Syrians and we hope to see better cooperation."
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Old 08-19-2003, 12:56 PM   #2
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As of now they're saying 15 dead.
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Old 08-19-2003, 01:05 PM   #3
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15 dead???
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Old 08-19-2003, 01:12 PM   #4
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crys



At least 17 now, and UN has confirmed de Mello is dead
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Old 08-19-2003, 01:38 PM   #5
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen


At least 17 now, and UN has confirmed de Mello is dead


What a horrible waste.
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Old 08-19-2003, 01:55 PM   #6
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Old 08-19-2003, 02:06 PM   #7
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I would like to know how a suicide bomber was able to drive right through the lobby of this building. Didn't they have concrete barriers or something to try to prevent this? It might not have mattered anyway-where there's a will there's a way for these
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Old 08-19-2003, 04:01 PM   #8
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what I wonder is who has anything to gain by attacking the UN?


it's a horrible thing though
rest in peace
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Old 08-19-2003, 04:09 PM   #9
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what I wonder is who has anything to gain by attacking the UN?


it's a horrible thing though
rest in peace
In my opinion....the terrorist acts of the past week are geared towards doing everything possible to make the situation more difficult on the Iraqi people, thus causing them to lash out at the US/Coalition forces.
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Old 08-19-2003, 05:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


In my opinion....the terrorist acts of the past week are geared towards doing everything possible to make the situation more difficult on the Iraqi people, thus causing them to lash out at the US/Coalition forces.

The people of Iraq are being treated like guinea pigs, not people. This makes me sick.
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Old 08-19-2003, 07:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76

The people of Iraq are being treated like guinea pigs, not people. This makes me sick.
Well this is what happens when an administration with no foresight goes into a situation blind and then has no idea what to do about it once they're there.
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Old 08-19-2003, 07:30 PM   #12
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I knew it was GWB's fault.
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Old 08-19-2003, 07:45 PM   #13
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I agree that there was some big time screwing up on the Administration's part. They didn't have a plan for winning the peace, only the war. The peace turned out to be a heck of alot trickier than the war. Now terror has entered the equation, and we've seemed to hit a brick wall or whatever. They took out the UN Commissioner on Human Rights. Why? How cynical, cold and brutal. There was also the horrific atrocity in Jerusalem. Now I'm really worried for my friends in Israel. It's a sad day for the human race, period, for people of all nationalities, faiths, everyone.
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Old 08-19-2003, 07:45 PM   #14
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Please, nbcrusader.

If you mean to tell me that this occupation/rebuilding whatever you want to call it is well thought out, by all means.

GWB has nothing to do with today's bombing. He has everything to do with the quagmire they're in. Iraqis don't have regular power in 50 Celsius and we whine about electricity drop outs for 8 hours. Let's get real here and call a spade a spade.
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Old 08-19-2003, 07:48 PM   #15
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I doubt the people involved with the UN bombing are interested in peace. Terror was always a part of the region - for some, it is their currency.
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