Friday, November 18, 2005

A string of suicide bombings in Iraq have killed at least 60 people and injured over 60 more as insurgents attacked a prominent Baghdad hotel as well as two mosques 90 miles (140 kilometres) north-east of the capital.

52 people were killed and 65 wounded when two suicide bombers detonated themselves in Shi’ite mosques in the eastern Iraqi town of Khanaqin, inhabited mostly by Shi’ite Kurds. The bombers entered the mosques during Friday prayers and blew themselves up, completely destroying the buildings. The attack was the latest in a series of bombings by Sunni Muslim insurgents at Shi’ite mosques.

Earlier on the same day two suicide truck bombs destroyed an apartment block in Baghdad, killing at least eight people and injuring at least 43. The blast was near an interior ministry prison bunker where a torture scandal involving numerous Sunni Arab prisoners has been taking place. US military and security experts said, however, that the target of the attack was not the bunker but a prominent hotel used by foreign journalists.

US Colonel Ed Cardon said the Baghdad bombing did not go according to plan. He told reporters that the first truck was to pave way for the second truck, but instead both trucks exploded in the same place. Cardon’s view was supported by deputy interior minister Hussein Kamal, who said initial reports indicate that the Hamra hotel was the actual target.