IRAQ’S foreign minister admitted yesterday the country’s own security forces may have colluded in the massive truck bombings in which nearly 100 people died.
Hoshiyar Zebari also criticised Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki for removing blast walls from Baghdad’s streets, saying it was one cause of Wednesday’s two blasts at the foreign and finance ministries.
“According to our information, there has even been collaboration between security officers and the murderers and killers,” said Zebari. More than 1,000 people were wounded in the attacks.
Zebari offered no direct evidence but said the suicide bombers must have been helped by police or soldiers to get through heavily guarded checkpoints. Large trucks are normally banned from the city centre during daylight.
The blasts shattered a growing sense of stability in Iraq six weeks after US troops pulled out of urban centres and handed responsibility for security to their Iraqi counterparts.
The attacks dealt a severe blow to Maliki, as he prepares to contest a national election next January by claiming credit for a sharp fall in overall violence in the past 18 months.
Many ordinary Iraqis blame intra-Shia rivalry ahead of the election for the blasts or lingering disputes between Shia, Sunnis and Kurds.
The government has accused Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s banned Baath party.