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Suicide bomber kills 20 in Baghdad restaurant-police - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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BAGHDAD, – A suicide bomber killed up to 20 people including five policemen and many plain-clothes security guards at a Baghdad restaurant close to the Green Zone government compound on Sunday, several police sources said.

A further 20 were wounded after the bomber walked into the restaurant during lunchtime on a street protected by numerous police checkpoints and a few hundred meters (yards) from one of the main public entrances to the fortified Green Zone, according to Reuters.

The attack came a day after U.S. and Iraqi generals declared success in a month-long campaign, known as Operation Lighting, against insurgent bomb factories and other Sunni rebel activities in the capital.

A wave of suicide car bombings contributed to the deaths of more than 1,000 Iraqis in the weeks following the formation of the Shi”ite-led government in late April. The generals said suicide car bombings had been halved by their operation but warned that rebels were still capable of major attacks.

A series of car bombings at entrances to the Green Zone in December led to security being tightened on the approach roads to the compound. A bomber approaching the restaurant on foot, however, would be less liable to being checked.

The entrance near which the attack took place is a main entrance for civilian employees working in the Green Zone, as well as for journalists and other visitors to the area, which also houses the U.S. and British embassies.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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