Female Suicide Bombers with Down Syndrome
Bombers Had Down Syndrome, Official Says
Dozens Dead In Bomb Attacks In Baghdad
POSTED: 11:48 am CST February 1, 2008
UPDATED: 11:53 am CST February 1, 2008
BAGHDAD -- Remote-controlled explosives strapped to two mentally retarded women detonated in a coordinated attack on Baghdad pet bazaars Friday, Iraqi officials said, killing at least 73 people in the deadliest day since the U.S. sent 30,000 extra troops to the capital last spring.
The chief Iraqi military spokesman in Baghdad, Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, claimed the female bombers had Down syndrome and that the explosives were detonated by remote control, indicating they may not having been willing attackers in what could be a new method by suspected Sunni insurgents to subvert stepped up security measures.
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said the bombings showed that a resilient al-Qaida has "found a different, deadly way" to try to destabilize Iraq.
"There is nothing they won't do if they think it will work in creating carnage and the political fallout that comes from that," he told The Associated Press in an interview at the State Department.
The first attack Friday occurred at about 10:20 a.m. in the central al-Ghazl market. The weekly bazaar has been bombed several times since the war started but recently had re-emerged as a popular place to shop and stroll as Baghdad security improved and a Friday ban on driving was lifted.
Four police and hospital officials said at least 46 people were killed and more than 100 wounded.
Firefighters scooped up debris scattered among pools of blood, clothing and pigeon carcasses.
About 20 minutes later, a second female suicide bomber struck a bird market in a predominantly Shiite area in southeastern Baghdad. That blast killed as many as 27 people and wounded 67, according to police and hospital officials.
One witness who declined to be identified told AP Television News that the woman said she had birds to sell, then blew herself up as people gathered around to inspect them.
For more, see: http://www.nbc5.com/news/15195570/detail.html?treets=chi&tml=chi_12pm&ts=T&tmi=chi_12pm_1_12150302012008.