U.S.: Baghdad Bombing Planners Will Pay - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

10/13/03 - Baghdad, Iraq

U.S.: Baghdad Bombing Planners Will Pay

Iraqis are evacuated out of a building after a suicide attacker slammed an explosives-rigged car into a barrier outside the Baghdad Hotel, in the Iraqi capital, Sunday, home to many U.S. officials and security agents. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim) Iraqis are evacuated out of a building after a suicide attacker slammed an explosives-rigged car into a barrier outside the Baghdad Hotel, in the Iraqi capital, Sunday, home to many U.S. officials and security agents. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)


The American administrator in Iraq vowed to hunt down those responsible for a car bomb attack that shook central Baghdad, killing at least six bystanders and wounding dozens of others.

Sunday's attack outside the Baghdad Hotel was the seventh fatal vehicle bombing in Iraq since early August. The bombings have killed more than 140 people.

"We will work with the Iraqi police to find those responsible and bring them to justice," Iraq's U.S. civilian administrator, L. Paul Bremer, said after Sunday's bombing. So far, none of the planners of the previous bombings has been found.

Two cars exploded nearly simultaneously, but military spokesman Lt. Col. George Krivo said Monday it was unclear whether the second car was part of the attack or if its fuel tank had been ignited by the first blast.

The Pentagon said gunfire from Iraqi guards and U.S. personnel aborted the plan to hit the hotel, home to officials of the U.S.-led occupation authority here and reportedly some members of Iraq's interim Governing Council.

At least one guard was reported among the six bystanders dead; the two drivers also were presumed killed, but was not clear if one or both were suicide attackers. One member of the 25-seat Governing Council, Mouwafak al-Rabii, told Al-Jazeera satellite television he suffered a slight hand injury.

The lunchtime attack sent terror-stricken Iraqis fleeing up Saadoun Avenue, over broken window glass from banks, restaurants and shops and past the bloodied bodies of injured. American helicopters and combat vehicles converged on the chaotic scene as black smoke from burning cars billowed over the central city.

The six victims and 32 injured reported at al-Kindi Hospital - four in critical condition - were all Iraqis, authorities said. The U.S. military said three Americans were slightly injured.

Along Saadoun Avenue, feelings ran high against the Americans and their inability to stop the bombings. As rubble burned, a crowd chanted slogans calling the U.S.-led regime a failure.

Elsewhere in Iraq, other attacks on Americans continued.

The military said Monday that two U.S. soldiers were killed and three wounded in two incidents in northern Iraq.

One soldier was killed and two were wounded in a rocket-propelled grenade attack Monday during a patrol in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.

A U.S. soldier was killed and a second was slightly wounded in when their vehicle struck a land mine Sunday night in Beiji, 120 miles north of Baghdad, the military said.

The deaths brought to 96 the number of U.S. soldiers known to have been killed in hostile action since May 1, when President Bush declared major combat over.

An explosion on the outskirts of the southern city of Basra slightly injured a British soldier on Monday, the British military said, but it gave no details. Basra residents said the explosion occurred as the soldier's vehicle was passing a gasoline station.

On Sunday, two U.S. military police were slightly injured in a blast, apparently from a roadside bomb, just outside the main U.S. Army base in Tikrit, 120 miles north of Baghdad. Another soldier was wounded when his convoy came under small-arms and grenade attack 60 miles south of the northern city of Kirkuk.

In other developments:

-Hundreds of thousands of Shiite Muslim pilgrims concluded a weekend of religious celebration in the holy city of Karbala, south of Baghdad. The festival was peaceful despite a fiery Friday sermon by hard-line cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who railed against the U.S. occupation and announced formation of his own Islamic "government."

-Members of a visiting U.S. congressional delegation expressed American determination to stick it out in Iraq. "We are here to stay until these people are ready to take over," said Rep. H. James Saxton, R-N.J., referring to members of Iraqi security forces with whom the delegation met.

The heavily guarded Baghdad Hotel sits at the foot of a short side street running from Saadoun Avenue. A tall wall of concrete guards the intersection where the street meets the avenue. Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority said some of its staff and contractors reside in the hotel, and for weeks it was rumored to be home to CIA staff, although the U.S. intelligence agency denied Sunday it was its headquarters.

Witnesses said two cars sped toward the intersection, one going up the wrong lane on Saadoun, a two-way road, and suddenly veered behind the barrier, toward the hotel.

Sabah Ghulam said one of the cars came at him as he rode in an automobile past the barrier. "The car was in front of us, a 1990 Toyota Corolla," he said. "He suddenly turned in toward the hotel. ... A policeman shot at him four times, and then there was the explosion."

In Washington, Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cynthia Scott-Johnson said both vehicles were fired on by Iraqi guards and by Americans.

"Both vehicles then detonated, wounded three U.S. personnel slightly," she said. She didn't specify whether they were military or civilian.

Ghulam described the one driver as light-skinned, clean-shaven and wearing a hat. He didn't look like an Iraqi, he said. Ghulam's vehicle, passing the 15-foot-tall barriers when the cars exploded on the other side, suffered only shattered windows.

The U.S. Army's Col. Peter Mansoor, of the 1st Armored Division, said of the barriers, "They prevented a greater loss of life. So the security worked."

The force of the 12:45 p.m. blasts blew down a half-dozen sections of the concrete wall, shattered brick walls up to the third floor above the site, and blew out windows up to three blocks away.

"Our office is on the fourth floor. The windows blew in. Some of the girls fainted," said a dust-smudged Salima Saddam as she was evacuated. The first of the injured were rushed away in police cars.

Mansoor said no one was seriously injured at the hotel.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Lufkin's Community Food Drive built on woman's legacy

    Lufkin's Community Food Drive built on woman's legacy

    Saturday, November 18 2017 9:28 PM EST2017-11-19 02:28:07 GMT
    Source: KTRE StaffSource: KTRE Staff
    The Community Food Drive in Lufkin is special to some because of the large amount of people it brings together from all walks of life.  "It's just like so many different people, very diverse," said volunteer, Priscilla Gonzalez. "It's just kind of cool to see all these people coming together to do one thing." For others, like Keith Kennedy, it's all about the service being provided to the greater community. "They're in miracle territory,...More >>
    The Community Food Drive in Lufkin is special to some because of the large amount of people it brings together from all walks of life.  "It's just like so many different people, very diverse," said volunteer, Priscilla Gonzalez. "It's just kind of cool to see all these people coming together to do one thing." For others, like Keith Kennedy, it's all about the service being provided to the greater community. "They're in miracle territory,...More >>
  • East Texas seasonal hires may have helped lower statewide unemployment rate

    East Texas seasonal hires may have helped lower statewide unemployment rate

    Friday, November 17 2017 7:26 PM EST2017-11-18 00:26:00 GMT

    According to the Texas Workforce Commission, unemployment rate has fallen to a 3.9 percent since  In East Texas some holiday job openings have helped that percentage grow.  During March Target finished a 3.5 million dollar remodel that brought in new product lines. “We've actually added new positions and we've been able to accommodate additional hires because our business has escalated since then,” said store team leader, Kris Hoephner. This addition to the Ta...

    More >>

    According to the Texas Workforce Commission, unemployment rate has fallen to a 3.9 percent since  In East Texas some holiday job openings have helped that percentage grow.  During March Target finished a 3.5 million dollar remodel that brought in new product lines. “We've actually added new positions and we've been able to accommodate additional hires because our business has escalated since then,” said store team leader, Kris Hoephner. This addition to the Ta...

    More >>
  • Lufkin STEM program plant trees at local schools

    Lufkin STEM program plant trees at local schools

    Friday, November 17 2017 7:25 PM EST2017-11-18 00:25:00 GMT
    Source: KTRESource: KTRE

    The 7th grade, STEM program from Lufkin joined up with some of the senior STEM students and spent their Friday, morning, planting trees at Burley Primary and Slack Elementary Schools. 

    More >>

    The 7th grade, STEM program from Lufkin joined up with some of the senior STEM students and spent their Friday, morning, planting trees at Burley Primary and Slack Elementary Schools. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly