Thursday, March 29, 2012

Baghdad Arab summit begins with a bang: Rocket explodes next to Iranian embassy

Smoke billows following a blast near the Iranian embassy in Baghdad on the outskirts of the Iraqi capital's heavily-fortified Green Zone on March 29, 2012 as a landmark Arab summit opened. The blast came despite strict security measures by the Iraqi government, which had 100,000 security forces members on alert in Baghdad, and effectively locked down the city. (Getty Images)
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A rocket exploded on the edge of the fortified Green Zone in the Iraqi capital on Thursday, where an Arab League summit attended by nine heads of state was taking place, a senior security source said.

The rocket was fired despite a security clampdown in Baghdad, where 100,000 extra security forces have been deployed, streets closed and a curfew imposed on vehicles.

"The blast happened close to the Iranian embassy. The windows of the embassy have been shattered, but there are no casualties," the source told Reuters.

Two more rockets hit the western district of Washash and Rahmaniya in central Baghdad, the source said.