Bomber hits Iraq military base, 11 dead: officials
A suicide bomber struck a military base in the Iraqi town of Taji Monday, killing at least 11 people in the latest attack by insurgents attempting to undermine the government.
It was the third major attack in the last five days and underscored the fragile state of Iraqi security as Washington pulls its remaining 14,500 troops out by year-end, nearly nine years after the invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.
The attacker detonated a bomb at the entrance to the base, which houses a jail holding al Qaeda, Mehdi Army militia and other prisoners, officials and security sources said. Taji is 20 km (12 miles) north of Baghdad.
“We heard a big explosion we thought it was a rocket, but we heard on our radios that it was a car bomb targeting the main reception area for the jail,” guard Mushtaq Kadaim said. “When we arrived at the scene there was no car, and the wounded people told us it was a suicide bomber.”
“There is a lot of damage to the place and many cars are burned. The flesh of the victims is stuck to the front of the cars and nearby walls,” he said.
Five guards and four civilian employees, plus two people visiting relatives at the jail, were among the dead, he said.
Violence has dropped sharply since the peak of sectarian slaughter in 2006-07. But Iraqi security forces still struggle to contain daily attacks by Sunni Muslim insurgents tied to al Qaeda and rival Shi’ite Muslim militias.