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At least six die in Baghdad blast
rediff.com Newsdesk | October 12, 2003 15:44 IST
Last Updated: October 12, 2003 20:25 IST
At least six people were killed and 10 wounded in a car bomb attack outside the Baghdad Hotel -- used by members of the US state department and Central Intelligence Agency -- in the Iraqi capital on Sunday.
The car, which was travelling at a high speed, exploded after being fired on as it broke through a security barrier and turned into the hotel driveway, according to a report.
"As far as I know there were no casualties inside the hotel," US Army Colonel Peter Mansoor told the CNN.
If Iraqi security guards had not fired on the car, it would have crashed into the hotel.
"They did their job, and they prevented a greater loss of life," Mansoor said. "The security worked."
The blast was so big that Western journalists staying at the Palestine Hotel four blocks away felt the shockwave. They said the hotel's windows rattled.
The US administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, condemned the "terrorist" act and released a statement expressing his condolences to the families of those killed and injured. He promised to "find those responsible and bring them to justice".
Coalition forces in Iraq have come under such attacks ever since the end of major combat.
At least 10 people were killed in a car bombing at the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad on August 7.
On August 19, 23 people, including Sergio Vieira de Mello, a veteran United Nations official, were killed when a bomb-laden cement truck exploded beneath the window of his office in the Canal Hotel in Baghdad.
On August 29, Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, a top Shiite cleric, and 83 others were killed when a car bomb exploded near a mosque in Najaf.