Two car bombs shook central Baghdad Friday morning near an Interior Ministry building where U.S. troops found detainees showing signs of torture, killing at least two people and injuring nine, police and witnesses said.
The blast in the Jadiriyah neighborhood reverberated through the city center, sent a mushroom cloud hundreds of feet into the air and was followed by the sounds of sporadic small arms fire.
Several residential buildings collapsed from the blast, which left a large crater, visible in AP Television News footage of the scene. Police Maj. Raeid Mohamedawi said the two car bombs were detonated behind the Interior Ministry building, which is also near a hotel used by U.S. journalists. Two civilians were killed and three police officers were among the injured, he said.
U.S. troops found up to 173 malnourished detainees, some showing signs of torture, in the building on Sunday. Most were believed to be Sunni Arabs, the main group in the insurgency.
In a statement Thursday, the U.S. Embassy said Iraqi authorities had given assurances that they will investigate the conditions of detainees found Sunday night and that the abuse of prisoners "will not be tolerated by either the Iraqi government" or U.S.-led forces anywhere in the country, reports the AP. I.L.