Baghdad: A large explosion on Sunday rocked
an Iraqi ministry of defence complex that three weeks ago was
the site of a suicide bomb attack that killed dozens of
would-be army recruits, a news agency correspondents said.
An early interior ministry toll said at least one
person had been killed and three wounded by the blast at
around 10:50 am (0750 GMT) near the Maidan and Bab al-Muatham
districts of the capital.
The large explosion occurred near the headquarters of
Rusafa Military Command in eastern Baghdad, sending plumes of
smoke into the air. It was preceded by a smaller almost
simultaneous explosion in the capital.
The military headquarters was being used as an army
recruitment centre on August 17 when a suicide bomber
detonated his payload, killing 59 people.
Today`s explosion was the biggest to hit Baghdad since
the recruitment centre attack and it came four days after US
forces officially changed their role in Iraq from a combat
mission to "advise and assist" operations.
Vice President Joe Biden launched the new mission when
visiting Baghdad last week, opening up a fresh phase in a
seven-year deployment that has cost the lives of more than
4,400 US troops.
He said in a speech on Wednesday that violence in Iraq
was now at its lowest level since the war, but that same day
official statistics said that 426 people were killed in unrest
last month, underscoring insurgents` ability to kill.