A car bomb exploded near the entrance to the Green Zone at about 9:15 this morning. This gate is more than a mile from my apartment, but the blast still shook my room enough that I would have guessed the locus of the explosion to be closer. The Washington Post has a fairly detailed report, in which they claim that 10 Iraqis were killed, and another 43 were injured. When I spoke to people at the scene, I heard some reports of 9 dead, and others of 10. As I have said before, the numbers are generally unreliable in the early hours after an attack. The U.S. military cordoned off the area with Humvees and Bradley fighting vehicles, and were removing the remains of the destroyed SUV used for the boming when I arrived. This is one of the first major explosions in Baghdad in the past couple of weeks. As I have mentioned a few times, Baghdad has been much quieter on the whole since I returned a few weeks ago than it was when I arrived in March.
Also note in the WaPo article that this attack is likely to backfire by further alienating Iraqis against the foreign terrorists who are targeting Iraqis. Allawi understands this, and when he visited the site, emphasized that this was "naked aggression against the Iraqi people. We will bring them to justice." While it will be difficult to end all spectacular attacks, the deepening devide between the former regime elements loyal to Saddam and the international terrorists suggests that large scale attacks should continue their current decline.