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BAGHDAD SUCIDE CAR BOMBS KILL 136

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BAGHDAD, Iraq – Two suicide car bombs exploded in downtown Baghdad Sunday, killing at least 136 people and delivering a powerful blow to the heart of the fragile city's government in the worst attack of the year, officials said.
  • While violence has dropped dramatically in the country since the height of the sectarian tensions, such bombings like Sunday's demonstrate the precarious nature of the security gains and the insurgency's abilities to still pull off devastating attacks in the center of what is supposed to be one of Baghdad's most secure areas.
  • Black smoke could be seen billowing from the frantic scene, as emergency service vehicles sped to the area. Even civilian cars were being commandeered to transport the wounded to hospitals.
  • "The walls collapsed and we had to run out," said Yasmeen Afdhal, 24, an employee of the Baghdad provincial administration, which was targeted by one of the car bombs. "There are many wounded, and I saw them being taken away. They were pulling victims out of the rubble, and rushing them to ambulances."
  • The car bombs, which targeted the Justice Ministry and the Baghdad provincial administration, come as Iraq is preparing for elections scheduled this January, and many Iraqi officials have warned that violence by insurgents intent destabilizing the country could rise.
  • There have been no claims of responsibility so far, but massive car bombs have been the hallmark of the Sunni insurgents seeking to overthrow the country's Shiite-dominated government.
Source: AP
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