At least 10 people have been killed in a powerful early-morning car bombing near the Red Cross headquarters building in Baghdad. A series of secondary explosions have also been heard throughout the Iraqi capital.
The blast in central Iraq set cars on fire and sent gray smoke billowing into the air. Ambulances raced to the scene as secondary explosions rumbled through Baghdad. Witnesses say one of the explosions occurred near the industry ministry.
The bomb targeted the headquarters the International Committee of the Red Cross, in the Karada district of Baghdad. Witnesses say it was carried in an ambulance. U.S. troops arrived, within minutes, to cordon off the area.
The blast comes one day after several rockets smashed into the Al-Rasheed Hotel in Baghdad, killing a U.S. officer and wounding more than a dozen other people. U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, on a four-day visit to the capital, was staying at the hotel. The building has housed some 300 U.S. military personnel and civilian contractors since the end of major combat in May.
Monday's attack on the Red Cross is the second time assailants have targeted an international humanitarian organization in the Iraqi capital. In August, a suicide car bomber struck the headquarters of the United Nations, killing the most senior U.N. official in Iraq and 21 others.