BAGHDAD, Iraq # A car bomb has exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, killing up to 10 people # including five Iraqi guards # and injuring about 40 others, according to Iraqi and U.S. officials.
Crowds rushed the embassy after Thursday’s explosion, looting parts of the facility and burning pictures of Jordan’s King Abdullah and his father, the late King Hussein. U.S. officials then cordoned off the area.
The wreckage of six cars burned outside the embassy as makeshift fire crews worked to put out the flames in front of the shattered facade of the compound.
Jordanian officials said employees inside the embassy received only slight injuries.
They added that Amman strongly condemned the terrorist attack and was determined to support Iraqis in their quest for security and stability in Iraq.
The policemen who died were guarding the embassy. At least four Iraqi civilians were also killed, CNN’s Rym Brahimi reported from Baghdad.
The blast shook buildings and broke windows hundreds of meters away, a witness told The Associated Press.
Tensions between Iraq and Jordan have been high since Jordan’s support for the U.S.-led war on Iraq.
CNN’s Brahimi said some Iraqi newspapers had been critical of Jordan but the precise motives for the attack were unclear.
Jordan is a major entry point into Iraq and remains a large trading partner. But some Iraqis are resentful that Jordan dropped its support for Saddam Hussein after the 1991 Gulf War, and allowed U.S. troops to use its soil as a base during the latest war.
King Abdullah II last week granted “humanitarian asylum” to two eldest daughters of Saddam, Raghad, 35, and Rana, 33, whose husbands took refuge in Jordan but were lured back and killed by Saddam’s regime.