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Suicide Bomber Strikes Parliament in Green Zone

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Suicide Bomber Strikes Parliament in Green Zone

Iraq

Suicide Bomber Strikes Parliament in Green Zone

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MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

As NPR's Mike Shuster reports from Baghdad, the two bombings show that despite the security crackdown in the capital, insurgents are still able to mount deadly attacks almost anywhere.

MIKE SHUSTER: One witness to the attack reached by cell phone was Salim Abdullah, a member of parliament who was in the cafeteria when the bomb went off.

SALIM ABDULLAH: (Through Translator) I'm not sure what happened. It was a shock, and I don't know how it happened. Even those of us who were so close to the explosion weren't able to identify where the bomb came from. One of the rumors I heard is that it was a suicide belt.

SHUSTER: Again, Salim Abdullah.

ABDULLAH: (Through Translator) This is a big security breach, especially today, because there were extra checkpoints and dogs searching even the speaker of the parliament. The circumstances are very strange.

SHUSTER: Police in patrol boats and divers in scuba gear mounted a rescue operation. Fifty-year-old Abu Ali(ph) lives in the shadow of the bridge. He rushed outside this morning just after the explosion blew out the windows of his house.

ABU ALI: (Through Translator) The moment it happened, I saw the smoke. I couldn't take it. I was sad so I went away. But I heard someone screaming in the water. I jumped and saw him wounded in the head. He was about to drown, so I dove in and rescued him.

SHUSTER: Mike Shuster, NPR News, Baghdad.

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