KIRKUK, Iraq - Rockets apparently fired from donkey carts Friday morning slammed into Iraq Oil Ministry and two hotels used by U.S. workers and foreign journalists in downtown Baghdad. At least one man was injured, reports Associated Press.
In two nearly simultaneous attacks just after 7 a.m. Friday, attackers led donkey carts carrying rocket launchers up to a street near the hotels and another outside the oil ministry, said Col. Peter Mansoor of the U.S. 1st Armored Division.
According to the Information obtained by BBC, two rocket-propelled grenades appear to have been fired at the Palestine Hotel and blasts were also heard at the Sheraton Hotel nearby.
On Saadoun Street, which runs alongside the Palestine Hotel, police and soldiers discovered a rocket-launcher atop a donkey cart with the capacity to fire 30 rockets. Iraqi police 1st Lt. Amar Arshad said at least three rockets were fired, and five more sat unfired in the rocket-launcher.
Mayor Abdul Rahman Mustapha also described the attack in Kirkuk as a suicide bombing, saying the driver's body had been recovered but not identified. However, police and Kurdish party officials said it was unclear whether the vehicle was abandoned before it exploded.
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan is one of two ethnic Kurdish parties that have supported the U.S.-led coalition. Both are represented on the Iraq's U.S.-installed Governing Council. The PUK leader, Jalal Talabani, is now president of the 25-member council.
Bomb attacks are less frequent in the northern Kurdish-controlled areas than in Baghdad or other parts of central and western Iraq dominated by Sunni Muslim Arabs. On Sept. 10, a suicide bomber blew up his vehicle near a U.S. intelligence compound in the northern city of Irbil, killing three people and seriously wounding four American intelligence officers.
The bombing in Kirkuk, 150 miles north of Baghdad, was the second in as many as days against Iraqis who cooperate with the U.S.-led occupation. Late Wednesday, a car bomb exploded outside the Ramadi home of Sheik Amer Ali Suleiman, a tribal leader close to the Americans. Hospital workers in the city, about 60 miles west of Baghdad, said two people were killed.
The explosion at the offices of a Kurdish political party came just hours after a car bombing in Ramadi and the assassination of a politician in Basra, reports Taipei Times.
Brig. Gen. Martin Dempsey, commander of the 1st Armored Division, said the campaign will now focus on using intelligence to disrupt rebel strikes. "What I want the enemy to know is that there is no sanctuary in Baghdad," he told reporters.
Sources: BBC, Associated Press, Taipei Times