Baghdad bombings possible inside job: Iraqi FM

Last Updated: Saturday, August 22, 2009 - 16:17

Baghdad: Iraq`s Foreign Minister said on Saturday that those who carried out bombings that targeted government buildings in the Iraqi capital received help to pull off the attacks, possibly from Iraqi security forces.

The comments comes as anger mounts over the bombings that have lead lawmakers to scrutinise the readiness of Iraqi security forces and raised questions about the loosening of security measures in Baghdad.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has ordered security tightened and concrete blast walls to remain around potential targets, reversing an order earlier this month to remove the walls in Baghdad by mid-September.

"Regrettably, we accepted the order to remove concrete walls and removal of a joint checkpoint near the ministry," Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters during a press conference in Baghdad.

The blasts Wednesday primarily targeted government buildings, including the foreign and finance ministries, killing at least 101 people and wounding more than 500.

Zebari said attacks were so well planned and executed that he would not rule out the possible collaboration of members of Iraq`s security forces with attackers.

"We will investigate that," he said.

The Iraqi military announced it arrested members of the insurgent cell responsible for the attacks but gave no details about the suspects. Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, the chief military spokesman in Baghdad, said on Iraqi state television only that both attacks were carried out by suicide bombers.

Zebari said the ministry was investigating how the trucks carrying the bombs were allowed to pass into areas where they are banned from traveling.

He said the prime minister ordered the arrest of officers from several branches of Iraq`s security forces as part of an investigation into security lapses that allowed the trucks to park near the ministries.

"What has happened, the number of victims and the destruction of government institutions, is a real national disaster," he said.

Zebari said better, stronger security procedures need to be put in place.

Bureau Report



First Published: Saturday, August 22, 2009 - 16:17

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