Report: Baghdad hotels bombed in coordinated attack

Vehicle bombs rocked three hotels in Baghdad in coordinated blasts on Monday, killing at least 36 and wounding at least 71, according a report from to the Washington Post.

The first blast was detonated about 3:40 p.m. local time from a vehicle that was driven close to the entrance of the Ishtar Sheraton hotel compound, reported the Post. (Note: The Baghdad Sheraton has had no association with Starwood's Sheraton brand since the Iraqi government confiscated the property after the first Gulf War. The Sheraton name is being used without Starwood's permission.)

Bombers also hit the Babylon Hotel, which is part of the Sheraton compound, and the al-Hamra Hotel compound, where several news operations (including the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times) have bureaus.

Authorities said the attack at the Babylon hotel came from a parked vehicle, reported the Post.

At the al-Hamra compound, witnesses said the attack began when two men in business suits opened fire on the security checkpoint. As guards retreated from the bullets, they released the gate lock, and a minibus laden with explosives drove past the blast walls, the Post reported.

The guards shot the driver of the minibus, but the bomb ripped through an apartment building and shattered the glass and walls of homes and hotels in the surrounding area, said the Post.

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