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Car Bomb Explodes Near UN Headquarters in Baghdad - 2003-09-22


A suicide bomber has blown up a car outside the already bomb-damaged United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. The blast killed two people and wounded at least eight others. The blast occurred early Monday at a checkpoint near the United Nations office in eastern Baghdad.

"At approximately 10 minutes after eight this morning, a bomb went off from inside of a car, killing two individuals, one being the bomber, and injuring approximately a half a dozen to eight individuals that we know at this time," said U.S. Army Captain Sean Kirley. "No damage was done to the U.N. building. No coalition forces were killed or injured that we know of at this point."

Witnesses say the bomb went off when security guards inspected the vehicle at a checkpoint at a U.N. parking lot about 100 meters from the bomb-damaged U.N. office at the Canal Hotel. The blast was heard over a large part of the capital. The twisted wreckage of the car continued to burn long after the explosion, as the wounded were rushed to a local hospital.

Witnesses said most of the wounded were Iraqi security guards working for the United Nations.

The U.N. building was hit by a truck bomb in August in a bombing that killed more than 20 people, including the senior U.N. envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. U.S. authorities blamed that bombing on suspected loyalists of the deposed President Saddam Hussein.

The U.N. complex is now used primarily by local Iraqi employees of the United Nations.

Over the past month there have been almost daily attacks against Iraqis who work for international institutions or who cooperate with the occupation forces. Many Iraqis say the lack of security has become their greatest concern since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Saddam Hussein regime in April.

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