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Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Suicide bomber hits New Year's Party at Baghdad Restaurant

FOX News: BAGHDAD, Iraq — At least five people were killed in a large explosion that ripped through a restaurant in central Baghdad Wednesday and there were reports that Iraqi police said it may have been caused by a homicide bomber.

Witnesses said at least 30 people may have been inside Nabil's Restaurant, which was on fire in Arasat Al-Hindiya, an upscale neighborhood of restaurants and bars in Karrada quarter. Hospital officials in Baghdad said 25 people were injured. . .

AFP/Mauricio Lima

Witnesses said an individual walked into the restaurant strapped with explosives and detonated. Other news reports said the cause of the blast was a car bomb.

The restaurant, popular among journalists and other foreigners, had advertised a New Year's Eve party including live music and bellydancing. The owner of the restaurant said he wasn't in there at the time of the blast, but he said it was crowded with people attending the party.

Several cars outside the restaurant were wrecked and in flames, and Iraqis with hoses tried to put out the blaze. A large crater was visible on a side street next to the restaurant as ambulances converged on the scene, near the former U.S. Embassy.