Monday, February 26, 2007

Iraq's president in Jordan receiving treatment, vp injured in Baghdad

A suicide bomber detonated a belt of explosives Sunday afternoon at a university in Baghdad, killing dozens of students, in the second large-scale attack on a college campus in the capital this year.
At least 39 students and nine guards were killed in the blast at the college of administration and economics of Mustansiriya University in northwestern Baghdad, according to Fadil al-Amiri, the school's administrative dean.

[. . .]
Also Sunday, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was flown to the Jordanian capital to undergo medical treatment, according to a statement issued by his office. His aides said he had traveled to Amman for a round of checkups after becoming sick "due to the exhausting continuous work during the past few days."

The above, noted by Martha, is from Ernesto Londono's "Bomber Targets Baghdad College; At Least 39 Students, 9 Guards Die" (Washington Post). Both of the above were noted by Rebecca last night (and thank you to Rebecca for filling in). But let's zero in on that last paragraph, Talabani is receiving treatment in Jordan. Reuters is reporting that one of Iraq's two vice-presidents, Adel Abdul-Mahdi (the Shia vice-president), was the target of an attack today as he spoke at a conference in western Baghdad where at least 10 people died and at least 20 more wounded from a car bombing that he was thought to be the target of.

Ahmed Rasheed and Claudia Parsons (Reuters) report that the number wounded has already risen to 31 and that it includes Abdul-Mahdi ("thrown against the wall" in the blast, according to one source), Riad Ghareeb who is the Public Works Minister and his deputy -- all three were taken to the hospital. Meanwhile, Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports:

Adel Abdul-Mahdi suffered bruises in the fall and was hospitalized for medical exams, an aide said. Police initially blamed the attack on a bomb-rigged car, but later said explosives were apparently planted inside the building.

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