Gulf & Middle East
Iraqi parliament holds special session a day after attack
Apr 13, 2007 - 4:14:35 PM

Baghdad, April 13 - The Iraqi parliament Friday held a special session a day after at least eight people, including two lawmakers, were killed by a suicide bomber in the parliament building.

'That we are holding this session here today, is a clear message to the terrorists,' parliamentary president Mahmud al-Mashhadani said, adding that he was proud so many parliamentarians were present.

It is believed a bomber wearing an explosive belt managed to penetrate the Iraqi parliament's cafeteria in the heart of Baghdad's fortified Green Zone.

US officials said at least 20 others were wounded in the blast Thursday, which came shortly after a key bridge over the Tigris River was struck by a truck bomb. At least 10 people were killed in that separate attack.

Televised images of an interview by al-Hurra network with an Iraqi lawmaker in the cafeteria when the blast occurred showed an orange blast and loud bang. The lawmaker ducked and glass could be heard shattering as smoke filled the room.

There was no immediate indication of how the bomber managed to get into the Green Zone, the heavily guarded compound in central Baghdad that houses US military and diplomatic facilities, Iraqi government buildings and the former palaces of Saddam Hussein.

The victims included Sunni MP Mohamed Awadh. Among the wounded MPs were Zafer al-Anni and Salman al-Jamili from the National Accord List and Falah Shinshil from the Sadrist Faction.

US magazine Time reported on its website that an al-Qaeda- controlled group, Islamic State in Iraq, claimed credit for the blast.

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