Monday, June 25, 2007

Hotel Attack


Suicide bombers struck a busy hotel in central Baghdad and four other targets across Iraq on Monday, in a surge of attacks that left at least 29 people dead, authorities reported. They said a U.S.-allied tribal leader was among those killed at the Mansour Hotel.

A man wearing a belt of explosives walked into the hotel's bustling lobby around noon, approached the reception desk and detonated his bomb, police reported. Nine people were killed and at least 16 others were wounded, they said.

Police said among the dead was Fassal al-Guood, a Ramadi tribal sheik and former governor of Anbar province who was a leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, which has partnered with U.S. and Iraqi officials to fight al-Qaida influence in Anbar.

One of Baghdad's leading hotels, the high-rise Mansour, on the banks of the Tigris River, houses the Chinese Embassy and several news organizations. A number of Iraqi parliament members also stay at the Mansour.

Saif al-Rubaie, 28, a worker in the reception area, said all the casualties were Iraqis, most employees in the reception area.

The attack was the fifth in a string of suicide and other bombings, from Mosul and Beiji in the north to Hillah in the south. Two were aimed at U.S. targets, but no U.S. casualties were reported.

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