US officials admitted last night that the bombing of the Iraqi parliament shows that not even the heavily fortified Green Zone is safe any more, despite the security crackdown launched earlier this year in the Iraqi capital.
American and Iraqi security officials were last night investigating how a suicide bomber evaded a ring of security checks and blew himself up in the assembly's cafe, killing three MPs and five other people and wounding more than 20.
About 100,000 US and Iraqi soldiers are on the streets of the capital as part of the troop "surge" begun two months ago; while security inside the Green Zone has been tightened following the recent discovery there of two suicide bomb belts.
But after the deadliest attack ever in the Green Zone, US officials warned that nowhere is safe in Baghdad. "The international zone is not safe, it is just safer than the rest of the city," said Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Garver.