A man blew himself up Tuesday and killed 60 people. The said suicide bomber also wounded 125 people. He blew himself up among hundreds of army recruits who had gathered near a military headquarters in an attack officials. This attack is said to be one of the bloodiest bombings in months in the Iraqi capital.
The blast on Tuesday happened around 7:30 a.m. outside the former Iraqi Ministry of Defense building that is now the house of the army’s 11th division headquarters.
The massive strike happened outside a major division headquarters and recruitment center where bodies of young men were scattered in the site, specially of young men who were still holding or clutching job applications and other documents on their hands.
There were two recruits who said that a possibility of a car bomb explosion happened due to the high death toll but Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, an Iraqi military spokesman, blamed the deaths on just a single bomber.
“We were sitting there, and somebody began shouting about a parked car,” said Ali Ibrahim, one of the recruits who suffered from minor shrapnel wounds due to the blast.
Maj. Gen. al-Moussawi also blamed al-Qaida in Iraq for enlisting the bomber, whose upper body he said was found at the scene of the blast. He said that the blast was caused by a single suicide bomber who detonated by wearing an explosive vest among the packed crowd.
The blast site receives about 250 new recruits each week as Iraqi security forces try to bolster their ranks in preparation for the U.S. military’s looming withdrawal after the long seven years of war. There were about 1,000 army recruits gathered at the division headquarters according to al-Moussawi, crowded because Tuesday was to be the last day of signing up for the soldiers.
“We couldn’t get another place for the recruits,” al-Moussawi said. “It was difficult to control the area because it’s an open area and because of the large number of recruits.”
Yasir Ali, one of the hopeful recruits said that he saw the bomber and described him as a blond young man and was sitting quietly among the recruits and then later walked up to an officer collecting I.D. cards and that’s the time he blew himself up.