Bombs hit central Baghdad

Seven coordinated car bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad went off simultaneously across the capital at approximately 10:00 in the morning, killing at least 95 and wounding at least 500.

It was the deadliest attack since the 29 June withdrawal of U.S. forces, and targeted both government- and privately-owned buildings.

The bombs, which are thought to be knowingly coordinated due to the capture of two Al-Qaeda members in a car intended to be used as a bomb, occurred on the six-year anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations compound in Baghdad, which killed the UN’s then-coordinator of local forces, Sérgio Vieira de Mello.

The attack began in early mid-morning, when a truck bomb exploded outside the Iraqi Finance Ministry. A larger explosion followed outside the Foreign Ministry, accompanied by mortar attacks on the secure Green Zone, a 10-square-kilometer (3.8-square-mile) area in central Baghdad that was the center of the Coalition Provisional Authority and remains the center of the international presence in the city; the bombing shattered windows, killing those near them, and also brought down the compound’s wall, which the truck was across the street from.

The foreign ministry explosion alone killed 58 people, and left a crater 3 metres (9.8 ft) deep and 10 metres (33 ft) wide. The next car bomb killed at least eight people and wounded at least 22 as it devastated a combined Iraqi army-police patrol near the Finance Ministry.

Two bombings in distant areas of the city, one in the commercial Baiyaa district killing two and wounding 16, the other in the Bab al-Muadham district killing six and wounding 24. One targeted the Rasheed Hotel, blowing out windows and door frames. Several mortars fell inside the Green Zone’s perimeter, one near the UN compound, where aid workers were meeting to discuss the “growing danger” facing aid groups.

In total, the attacks killed upwards of 90 people and injured upwards of 500. Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri Maliki had been scheduled to deliver a speech at a nearby hotel, but this was canceled due to attacks.

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