Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) — At least 48 people were killed and scores were wounded Tuesday when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden vest in central Baghdad as men were queuing up outside an Iraqi army recruitment center, the Interior Ministry said.
At least 129 people were wounded in the blast, which took place in the morning in the Bab al-Moudham commercial area.
The spokesman for the Iraqi military command in the capital, Maj. Gen. Qassim Atta, said Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered a number of officers who were near the attacker to be detained for questioning.
Atta told Al-Iraqiya state television that Tuesday had been the final day of a weeklong recruitment drive and that a large number of recruits had been waiting to sign up when the attack occurred.
Atta said the bomber’s vest was stuffed with 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of the plastic explosive C4, TNT and ball bearings.
The attack came amid the country’s failure to form a government and the United States’ troop drawdown ahead of President Barack Obama’s August 31 deadline for ending all combat operations.
The U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq, or UNAMI, condemned the act and expressed concern over continued acts of violence in the country, “including those perpetrated during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan that symbolizes the values of peace, tolerance, generosity and solidarity.”…