October 25, 2009
BAGHDAD, Iraq – A pair of suicide car bombings Sunday devastated the heart of Iraq’s capital, killing at least 155 people in the country’s deadliest attack in more than two years. The bombs targeted two government buildings and called into question Iraq’s ability to protect its people as U.S. forces withdraw. …
The dead included 35 employees at the Ministry of Justice and at least 25 staff members of the Baghdad Provincial Council, said police and medical officials speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. At least 500 people were wounded, including three American contractors.
The street where the blasts occurred had just been reopened to vehicle traffic six months ago. Shortly after, blast walls were repositioned to allow traffic closer to the government buildings. Such changes were touted by Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as a sign that safety was returning to the city.
The Iraqi leader walked among the mangled and blackened cars, which lay in front of blast walls that had been decorated with peaceful street scenes of Iraq. At the Justice Ministry, windows and walls on both sides of the street were blown away, and blood pooled with water from burst pipes. …
Black smoke billowed from the frantic scene, as emergency service vehicles sped to the area. Many of the wounded were loaded into the back of trucks and into civilian cars because there were too many for ambulances to carry. …
The blasts are a blow to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has staked his reputation and re-election hopes on returning security to the country. …
Blasts near Green Zone
The area where the blasts occurred is just a few hundred yards from the Green Zone that houses the U.S. Embassy as well as the prime minister’s offices. …
The explosive-laden vehicles were sitting in parking garages next to the two government buildings, police said. …
The coordinated bombings were the deadliest incident since a series of massive truck bombs in northern Iraq killed nearly 500 villagers from the minority Yazidi sect in August 2007. In Baghdad itself, however, it is the worst attack since a series of suicide bombings against Shiite neighborhoods in April 2007 killed 183 people. …
Ball of flames
Video images captured on a cell phone showed the second blast going off in a massive ball of flames, followed by a burst of machine gun fire. …
In this image from amateur video, a man runs from the blast as one of two huge car bombs explode in central Baghdad, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009. (Photo credit: The Associated Press)
The explosions were just a few hundred yards from Iraq’s Foreign Ministry which is still rebuilding after massive bombings there in August. …
October 25, 2009
Some of the deadliest militant attacks in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003:
October 25, 2009
Major attacks in Iraq since Jan. 1, 2009 when a new U.S.-Iraqi security pact took effect:
Note: Links added to related reports on this site.
AFGHANISTAN WAR — BREAKING NEWS
October 26, 2009
KABUL – The U.S. military said four American troops were killed and two injured in a collision of two helicopters in southern Afghanistan Monday morning.
Hostile fire was ruled out in the crash. No further details were released.
In an unrelated incident, another helicopter went down Monday during a joint international security force operation against insurgents in western Afghanistan in which a dozen militants were killed.
The U.S. said military casualties were reported and a recovery operation was under way. …
In the capital of Kabul, riot police fired shots in the air Sunday to disperse a demonstration by nearly 1,000 students protesting the rumored desecration of a Muslim holy book, the Quran, by U.S. troops during an operation two weeks ago in Wardak province.
Musadeq Sadeq / AP
Students run as police fire on a demonstration in front of the Afghan parliament in Kabul on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009.
U.S. and Afghan authorities have denied any such desecration and insist that the Taliban are spreading the rumor to stir up public anger. The rumor has sparked similar protests in Wardak and Khost provinces.
Students burned an effigy of Obama and chanted slogans such as “down with Americans, down with Israel” as they marched from Kabul University to the parliament building, where riot police turned them back. There were no reports of casualties. …
Also Sunday, the NATO command said a bomb killed an American service member the day before in southern Afghanistan. No further details were released. …
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — October 25, 2008
One year ago today, on the seventh day of my write-in campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I reported that a new poll sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio and the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute mirrored the results of a SurveyUSA poll released the previous day by KSTP television: Support for Bachmann was holding steady a week after she became a lightning rod for national criticism and media attention when she told Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s “Hardball” that Barack Obama “may have anti-American views” and the media should investigate which members of Congress “are pro-America or anti-America.”
Bachmann Tinklenberg Anderson Undecided
Grove Insight (Aug. 19-21) 40 27 – –
Grove Insight (Oct. 10-12) 42 38 – 15
Public Opinion Strategies (Oct. 12-13) 44 33 8 –
“Hardball” interview (Oct. 17)
SurveyUSA (Oct. 20-21) 44 47 6 2
MPR/UofM (Oct. 21-23) 43 45 5 7
Mean 42.6 38 6.3 8.8
Standard deviation 1.5 7.4 1.2 5.4
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