7 Bombs Batter Baghdad; 95 Dead, 500 Wounded

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2009 11:54 AM CDT
Smoke rises over central Baghdad, where a series of large explosions has left 100 dead.   (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
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(Newser) – Scores of people are dead after seven coordinated bombings rocked Baghdad this morning, targeting both government ministries and poor Shia neighborhoods, the New York Times  reports. Two huge bombs and three smaller blasts, probably from mortars, went off at the entrance to the fortified Green Zone, while other explosions hit the slum area of Sadr City. At least 95 people were reported killed and more than 500 injured.

The blasts targeted some of the city's most heavily fortified areas, including the parliament,  four ministries, and a hotel popular with foreigners. Hardest hit were the Foreign Ministry, where at least 47 were killed, and Finance Ministry, 28. Authorities suspect Sunni militant groups are behind the attacks. “The whole thing is just so disgusting,” US ambassador Christopher R. Hill, told the Times. “They’re just psychopathic.” American troops who witnessed the attacks were helpless; they've been banned from street patrols since June.