Iraq detained 11 senior security officers and tightened security across Baghdad on Thursday after two truck bombs in the capital killed 95 people in the country’s worst day of violence in 18 months.
The new measures, including an increased troop presence on the ground and tougher searches at checkpoints, followed a pledge by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to overhaul the country’s security and a senior minister’s acknowledgement of “serious security breaches.”
Despite the heightened state of alert, two people were killed and 10 wounded early today by a bicycle bomb in a market in the largely commercial al-Rasheed street in central Baghdad, security and medical officials said.
“An investigation has been launched into how these trucks got into the area,” said Major General Qassim Atta, spokesman for the Iraqi Army’s Baghdad operations.
He added that 11 senior police, army and intelligence officers had been arrested and were being questioned over security failures that led to the bombings, just minutes apart, outside the ministries of finance and foreign affairs yesterday morning which left around 600 injured.
Atta said security regulations prohibit trucks of the sort that exploded from coming close to the two ministries.
Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told AFP that there had been “some serious, serious security breaches,” and said that while he could not say who was behind the attacks, their timings were “archetypal of Al-Qaeda.”