Two suicide bombers blew themselves up Monday in a crowd of police officers south of Baghdad, killing up to 30 people and wounding dozens.
The two bombers struck shortly after 9 a.m. in Hillah, wading into a crowd of about 500 policemen who were demonstrating outside the mayor's office to protest a government decision to disband their special forces unit.
The bombers staggered the detonations to maximize casualties, said Col. Adnan Abdul Rahman, who was contacted by telephone in Baghdad. Policeman Jiwad Kadhim Hamid said the explosions took place about 100 yards away from each other and about a minute apart. Officials said about 100 others were wounded.
'I just saw a ball of fire and flying pieces of flesh. After that, confused policemen started firing into the air,' he said.
The blasts blew out windows of the mayor's office, a court house and school, covering the road with shards of glass and rubble. Iraqi police and soldiers cordoned off the area. Shoes and pieces of clothes worn by the victims were flung across the road.