Iraq Car Bombing Kill 147, Wound Over 700

Two suicide bombings in the heart of downtown Baghdad killed 147 people and injured an additional 700 people Sunday. The attacks were outside the Justice Ministry and the Baghdad provincial council headquarters. The explosions ripped through traffic and buildings a block apart, hurling vehicles through the air, incinerating drivers and burning office workers at their desks. Blast walls erected for protection were pulverized. Mangled bodies and pieces of flesh lay strewn around the streets. Water spewed from a destroyed main and collected in blood-tinged pools. Tuesday June 30, 2009. US combat troops left the last of Iraq’s cities and central Baghdad, leaving 120 bases and facilities in Iraqi control. This is part of Obama’s plan to a bilateral security pact that also requires all US troops to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

Current plans call for the 120,000 U.S. troops to begin a rapid drawdown about one to two months after the elections. After August 2010, the deadline set by Obama for the departure of all U.S. combat forces, a force of roughly 50,000 troops, mostly logisticians and trainers, would remain until the end of 2011. These were the deadliest bombings in Iraq in more than two years. Prime Minister Nouri Maliki visited the site of the bombings and blamed remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime and the militant group Al Qaeda in Iraq, saying they sought to “create chaos in the country, derail the political process and prevent the parliamentary elections,” according to a statement from his office.

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