Tuesday, September 02, 2003

A car bomb ripped through a major complex for Iraq's U.S.-backed police force in Baghdad on Tuesday, wounding 14 people, witnesses and hospitals said.

The explosion damaged the office of the U.S.-appointed Baghdad police chief, Hassan Ali, who was not in the complex at the time of the attack, they said.

Police Brigadier Saeed Muneim said Ali was probably the target of the blast.

In the latest guerrilla attack, two U.S. soldiers serving with a military police unit were killed when their vehicle hit an explosive device on one of Baghdad's main supply routes, a U.S. military spokeswoman said.

In Baghdad, witnesses said a large explosion targeted the Rasafa police headquarters in eastern Baghdad at 11:15 a.m. (0715 GMT), starting a large fire and sending a cloud of black smoke into the sky.

''A car bomb blew up inside the complex,'' Iraqi police First Lieutenant Nihad Majeed told Reuters.

Major Salem Abdul Zahra said the car was in the station's car garage.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, it now appears to me that this bomb did go off right outside the Baghdad Police Academy where CPT Patti and her crew are based. However, I've seen nothing to indicate any injuries to Americans inside the compound. See this story:

A car bomb that exploded Tuesday outside the Iraqi police academy injured 10 people, at least one seriously, a police official said.

Police Det. Basim al-Ani said the 11 were injured when the bomb detonated at 11:15 a.m. local time outside the walled perimeter in front of the police academy. A U.S. soldier said one person was killed, but that report was unconfirmed.

There also was an unconfirmed report that the bomb was inside a sport utility vehicle parked outside the wall of the academy, just east of central Baghdad. The building is next to the main U.S. Army field hospital, which was undamaged.

And this story:

A car bomb exploded Tuesday at a police station in the Baghdad's main police compound in the Rasafa district causing an unknown number of casualties, an officer in the station said.

The attack occurred right next to the capital's top police academy and across the street from the police headquarters and the ministry of interior ."A car bomb went off at about 11:30 am (0730 GMT). Most of the injured are policemen," said Lieutenant Khaled, but he refused to give any more details.The blast went off in a parking lot for stolen vehicles kept at the police station, Khaled added.

"It was a car bomb. Thank god, no one has died. There are only wounded," said Najim Mona, forensics chief at the station.

And this story indicates the explosion was adjacent to the Police Station, which is "next to the police academy"...so, puts just a bit of distance between this bomb and our troops.

A car bomb has exploded near a police station in western Baghdad, injuring up to 10 people and wrecking nearby vehicles.

It went off outside the police station in the Rasafa district at around 1130am. Most of the victims are thought to be police officers.

The attack came as leading Shi'ite cleric Mohammed al-Hakim, killed in a car bomb masacre in Najaf, was being buried.

The blast started a large fire and sent a cloud of black smoke into the sky.

The police station, which is next to Baghdad's police academy and opposite the Interior Ministry, was not badly damaged.

According to Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television, there were two explosions.

A police spokesman said the station's chief, General Amer, had a grenade lobbed at his house on Monday night.

Speculation here is that the intended target was the Iraqi Police Chief. If so, I hope we've dodged a bullet and that security will be such as to prevent another attack at this location.

I hope.

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