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Monday, January 25, 2010
37 killed in Baghdad as 'Chemical Ali' hanged - Yahoo! News
"BAGHDAD – Suicide bombers struck near three hotels popular with Western journalists and businessmen Monday just as Iraq announced the execution of Saddam Hussein's notorious cousin known as "Chemical Ali." At least 37 people were killed and more than 104 injured, security officials said. The blasts — coming in a span of about 15 minutes in downtown Baghdad — came shortly before state television announced that Ali Hassan al-Majid had been hanged. There was no claim of responsibility for the latest major attacks in Baghdad — about six weeks after a series of blasts killed 127 and brought outcry against Iraq's government for repeated security lapses as U.S. troops withdraw. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the latest bombings "represent an extension" of the activities of insurgents linked to Saddam's regime. But he stopped short of declaring the blast as possible revenge for the execution. The first explosion struck at about 3:40 p.m. local time in the parking lot of the Sheraton Hotel, toppling high concrete blast walls protecting the site and damaging a number of buildings along the Abu Nawas esplanade across the Tigris River from the Green Zone. Two other blasts followed minutes later, striking near the Babylon Hotel and Hamra Hotel, which is popular with Western journalists and foreign security contractors. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. According to initial tallies, 15 of the victims were at the Hamra, 14 at the Sheraton, and the remaining 8 died at the Babylon, including two policemen."