suicide attacker set off a truck bomb Aug. 19 outside the hotel
housing the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, U.S. officials
said. At least 20 U.N. workers and Iraqis were killed, including
the chief U.N. official in Iraq, and 100 were wounded, The Associated
Vieira de Mello, a 55-year-old veteran Brazilian diplomat who was
nearing the end of his four-month mission, was in his office when
the explosion ripped through the building about 4:30 p.m. and was
trapped in the rubble.
officials said 15 people were killed and 100 wounded. A survey of
Baghdad hospitals by The Associated Press found 20 people
killed, including 14 U.N. workers.
to two witnesses, a cement truck exploded at a concrete wall outside
the Canal Hotel, where the U.N. was based in the city, but there
were conflicting reports about whether the truck was parked or trying
to drive through the security barrier.
An AP reporter counted 40 wounded people lying in the front
garden and receiving first aid. Some were loaded into a helicopter
while others were led away by soldiers.
Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner who is rebuilding
the Iraqi police force, told reporters that evidence suggested the
attack was a suicide bombing.
was an enormous amount of explosives in what we believed to be a
large truck," Kerik added.
U.S. official speaking anonymously estimated the amount of explosives
was double that used in the attack on the Jordanian embassy almost
two weeks ago, in which 19 people were killed.
President Bush, at his ranch in Texas, condemned today's truck bombing,
calling the attackers "enemies of the civilized world."
members of the U.S. Congress were in Baghdad touring military sites
when the explosion happened – and were scheduled to tour the U.N.
facility sometime later in the day. None was hurt.