Baghdad, 7 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- At least 11 people were killed in Baghdad today when a large bomb exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy. No group has claimed responsibility for the blast, believed to have been a car- or truck-bomb attack. Dozens were wounded, including the Jordanian consul.
Jordan condemned the bombing as a cowardly attack. Jordanian Information Minister Nabil al-Sharif said it will not divert Amman from its "path of support and aid" to the Iraqi people.
The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, called the blast a "terrorist bombing." He said it is the worst attack against a nonmilitary target in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad.
"Most significant attack on a soft target? Well, we've had other soft targets that have been attacked in the past few weeks very effectively. We've had some [nongovernmental organizations] that were attacked and had people killed in them, so in terms casualties, yes, I'd probably say so," Sanchez said.
The blast came a week after Jordan announced it had granted asylum to the eldest daughters of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Meanwhile, two U.S. soldiers were killed in a gun battle in Baghdad overnight. And U.S. forces also engaged in a fierce firefight in the capital today after coming under attack. Reports of casualties are unclear.
Fifty-five U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the end of major combat operations were declared on 1 May.