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Middle east

PM says 73 arrested for Oct. 25 bomb attack on Justice Ministry

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-10

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Tuesday that 73 people have been arrested in connection with an Oct. 25 double bomb attack on the Justice Ministry in Baghdad that killed more than 150 people and wounded some 500 others.

AFP - Iraq has arrested 73 people suspected of playing a direct role in two massive bombs that killed more than 150 people in Baghdad on October 25, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Tuesday.
   
They are suspected of working on the orders of the outlawed Baath party of executed dictator Saddam Hussein, and included members of Al-Qaeda, Maliki told reporters in Baghdad.
   
He said he had personally scrutinised transcripts of interviews with those arrested in connection with the attacks at the justice ministry and the Baghdad provincial government headquarters, and referred to the questions asked.
   
"Why did you choose the justice ministry?" Maliki said, recalling one of the transcripts he had consulted, to which the suspect replied: "Because it has a lot of glass and would maximise the number of victims."
   
"Who ordered you to do this," Maliki continued, saying the suspect answered: "The Baath party," according to the transcript.
   
The attacks, which also left 500 people wounded, punctured confidence in Iraq's security forces and led to the arrests of more than 60 soldiers and police, including 13 officers, for negligence.
   
Maliki, whose political strength as premier has been built on security gains and being able to lessen the country's violent death toll, said the October 25 toll included 30 children killed at two nurseries for justice ministry workers.
   
Colonel Khalil Ibrahim, chief of security for the justice ministry, told AFP in the wake of the attacks that 46 children had been in two ground floor nurseries at the time of the bombings.

Date created : 2009-11-10

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