One hundred and thirty two people are now thought to have been killed and more than 500 wounded in a dual car bomb attack in Baghdad.
The blasts wrecked the justice ministry building and a provincial government office close to the heavily fortified green zone. Gunfire could be heard as security forces attempted to restore order in the aftermath of the explosions. Iraqi officials say the number of dead and wounded is likely to rise as rescue workers continue to dig through the rubble in search of survivors. The attacks, happened within minutes of each other during the morning rush hour as people headed to work. There are conflicting reports from Iraqi police and security officials who are unsure whether suicide bombers were involved. The explosions are being compared to truck bomb attacks on the finance and foreign ministries in August which killed at least 100 people. Today’s blasts are said to have been aimed at stopping a parliamentary election planned for next January. The al-Mansour hotel which houses the Chinese embassy and the offices of several foreign media organisations, was also damaged although no serious injuries were reported there.