A number of mortar rounds struck the Green Zone on Tuesday, with estimates ranging from 10 to more than thirty. Eyewitnesses reported smoke rising near the US embassy compound. A US spokesman initially reported no fatalities, but police sources are now saying three were killed and 25 wounded.
The BBC has the lowest count at 10 mortars, Reuters cites a US spokesman who said there had been around a dozen explosions, AP reports the sound of at least 23 mortars was heard in central Baghdad, and VOI's piece indicates there may have been two separate barrages spaced about a half-hour apart that totaled more than thirty.
Eyewitness told VOI that ten mortars struck the Green Zone just minutes after 4:00 pm local time, then a source inside Maliki's office reported, "More than 20 mortar shells fell today at 4:30 pm (BLT) near the residence of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki inside the Green Zone."
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added "the destination from where these mortars were launched was the eastern side of Baghdad."
Sadr City lies east of the Green Zone, and is often the base for mortar attacks against the Green Zone. Such attacks are not uncommon--a recent UN report estimated they occur daily--but few days see more than five shells.
The US spokesman Reuters cited said that there had been no fatalities, but had no information on whether anyone had been wounded in the strike. Reuters' latest report cites police sources who say two Iraqis and one Filipino were killed and 25 wounded in the attacks.