Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for two truck bombs that hit
government ministries in Baghdad last week, killing more than 100
people and wounding 500 others.
A statement published on an
al-Qaida-linked Web site claimed bombers had targeted the Finance,
Defense and Foreign ministries in central Baghdad.
government has linked the blasts to Baathist sympathizers located in
Syria. On Tuesday, officials recalled the Iraqi ambassador to Damascus,
and ordered Syrian officials to hand over two men wanted in connection
with the attacks. Syria responded by recalling its ambassador and
demanding Iraqi authorities provide evidence to back up their
The blasts were the deadliest attacks since U.S.
forces withdrew from urban areas in late June. They also came as
workers were preparing to begin removing concrete security barriers
that protect government buildings in the capital. The barrier removal
program has now been postponed.
On Monday, in the southern city of Kut, bombs exploded on two buses, killing at least 11 people and wounding 10 others.
The increased attacks have brought new scrutiny to the Iraqi government's ability to ensure security.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.