A homicide bomber detonated a car bomb Sunday outside the Baghdad Hotel believed to house U.S. security officials, killing six bystanders and wounding dozens.
A member of Iraq's 25-seat interim Governing Council, Mouwafak al-Rabii, was in the Baghdad Hotel at the time and suffered a slight hand injury, he told Al-Jazeera satellite television.
Police said an Iraqi security guard and the bomber were among the dead.
A Fox News reporter near the scene felt one enormous explosion, but later reports indicated that two simultaneous blasts had occurred. Two cars outside the hotel were on fire after the explosions. Gunfire was also reported in the vicinity.
Witnesses said guards outside the hotel fired on an approaching car before it exploded, indicating that a much deadlier attack had likely been thwarted.
U.S. military helicopters circled overhead and U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police quickly arrived to secure the area.
U.S. officials are believed to be staying at the hotel. However, a U.S. government official in Washington, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the building was not the CIA's headquarters in Baghdad as was believed.
This is in the 1st Brigades area of responsibility. Click on the Baghdad Map link, find "(Tigris) River" in the center of the map. Look directly to the right of the first "R" in river. You will see a green house-shaped symbol with the word "Baghdad" immediately beside it. That is the Baghdad hotel.
It's about one and two-tenths of a mile from CPT Patti and her crew.
Sunday, October 12, 2003