A suicide attacker Tuesday blew up his vehicle as he raced it at Iraq’s forensics headquarters in central Baghdad, killing 18 people, injuring 80 and destroying the building, officials said. The attack came a day after three huge minibus bombs targeting hotels killed dozens in the Iraqi capital and amid heightened tension
following the hanging of Saddam Hussein’s notorious henchman “Chemical” Ali Hassan al-Majid. An interior ministry official put the toll at 18 dead – five policemen and 13 civilians – and 80 people injured. Those killed all died in the blast while most of the injured were pulled from underneath the rubble of the building. An interior ministry official said the blast had wrecked the institute. “The building collapsed soon after the explosion. Dozens of people usually work in the (forensics) institute,” he added, speaking on condition of anonymity. The blast came a day after three huge and apparently coordinated minibus bombs targeted hotels in Baghdad, killing at least 36 people and wounding 71. The hotel bombings came on the same day the government announced that Saddam’s notorious cousin and henchman “Chemical” Ali Hassan al-Majid, a symbol of the fallen regime, had been executed.