Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07BAGHDAD1272
2007-04-12 19:28:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

COUNCIL OF REPRESENTATIVES BOMBING -- INFORMATION

Tags:  PREL PGOV PTER ASEC IZ 
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O 121928Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0709
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC//NSC// IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBC/REO BASRAH IMMEDIATE 2193
RUEHIHL/REO HILLAH IMMEDIATE 2140
RUEHKUK/REO KIRKUK IMMEDIATE 2139
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 001272 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/12/17
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER ASEC IZ
SUBJECT: COUNCIL OF REPRESENTATIVES BOMBING -- INFORMATION
FROM POLITICAL CONTACTS

Classified By: Classified By: Acting DCM Margaret Scobey for reasons
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 001272

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/12/17
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER ASEC IZ
SUBJECT: COUNCIL OF REPRESENTATIVES BOMBING -- INFORMATION
FROM POLITICAL CONTACTS

Classified By: Classified By: Acting DCM Margaret Scobey for reasons 1.
4 (b) and (d).


1. (SBU) Post has reached out to political party leaders and
other political contacts in the aftermath of the April 12
bombing in the Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR). The
CoR is located in the Baghdad Convention Center in the
International Zone and takes up virtually the entire
building. The bomb exploded at approximately 1430 in the CoR
cafeteria after the CoR had concluded its session for the
day, with many members adjourning to the cafeteria for lunch.
Those in or near the cafeteria at the time of the bombing
described a loud blast, with smoke and dust that obscured any
view of the blast site. Only the sounds of the injured were
obvious.


2. (SBU) The number of casualties remains unclear. PolOffs
have verified the death so far of one CoR member, Mohammed
Awad from Salih al-Mutlaq's Hewar party. Two others that we
know of remain in very poor condition. These include Hewar
CoR member Taha Al-Luhaiby; and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
member Assi Hussein Mohammed. We have heard reports of
possibly seven additional deaths, possibly of individuals who
were taken to hospitals outside of the IZ.


3. (SBU) Sadrist members, including Falah Shenshel, were
injured although the severity is not yet known. SCIRI CoR
member Ridha Jawad Takki told poloff that SCIRI had no
injuries, and one Badr parliamentarian was slightly injured.
While the block leaders of Dawa Tanzim (Abdulkarim al-Anzy),
Fadhila (Hassan al-Shammari),and the Shi'a Independents
(Khalid al-Atiya) are apparently unharmed, our contacts had
not accounted for all members in those groups. Ayad Allawi's
Iraqiyya party reports one member, former Minister of
Minerals and Industry Osama al-Najafi, was lightly injured.


4. (SBU) GOI officials including National Security Advisor
Muwafuq Rubai, Minister of Defense Abdulqader al-Ubaydi, and
Acting Prime Minister Barham Salih visited the MNF-I Combat
Support Hospital (CSH) to meet with the wounded there.
Embassy political contacts described damage to the CoR
building as mostly superficial although the cafeteria
requires significant repairs.


5. (C) Following the attack, Acting Prime Minister Barham
Salih convened senior Iraqi security officials as well as CG
and Acting DCM. Salih said PM Maliki had been consulted and
instructed Salih to take whatever security measures were
necessary. Salih expressed appreciation for USG assistance in
the attack's investigation and stated that while they have
some individuals they wish to speak with, there are no clear
suspects. At the meeting it was decided that the Ministry of
Interior will assume responsibility ) at least in the short
term ) for CoR security.


6. (C) CoR Speaker Mahmud Mashadani of the Sunni Tuwafuq bloc
has announced that the CoR will hold a special session on
Friday, April 13, to demonstrate that the terrorists were not
able to deter the CoR. This will be the first time the CoR
has held a session on a Friday. There is a weekly vehicle
ban in Baghdad on Friday mornings, so the number of
participants may be relatively low. Mashadani's Chief of
Staff told poloff that would not matter, as even a small
turnout would send a strong message of defiance.


7. (SBU) Also on March 12, terrorists struck at vital city
infrastructure, destroying Sarafia Bridge across the Tigris.


8. (C) Comment. The full impact of CoR attack will not be
known for some time. The special CoR session sends an
important signal of national unity. However, finger-pointing
has already begun in the media and among some of our CoR
contacts. One Shia media outlet asserted that the attack was
an inside job likely carried out by a Sunni MP. Mashadani's
Sunni Chief of Staff blamed Shia Deputy Speaker Khalid
Attiya, who oversees security for the building. One
immediate impact could be lessened participation, if only
from those who have been temporarily incapacitated. This
could make it difficult to obtain a quorum necessary for
passing legislation. It will take strong leadership from the
CoR's top members to encourage attendance and use the attack
as an opportunity to forge greater solidarity rather than
reinforce sectarian suspicions and divisiveness.
CROCKER