Another neighborhood where you can't take a walk

A bomb blast kills two Iraqi lawmakers inside the Green Zone.

Published April 12, 2007 12:42PM (EDT)

The president's plan for Iraq involves setting up joint U.S.-Iraqi security outposts throughout Baghdad so that the relative safety of the Green Zone can be spread first into greater Baghdad and then across the entire country.

It may be time to go back to square one.

Inside the Green Zone today, a bomb exploded in a cafeteria in Iraq's parliament building, killing at least two lawmakers -- one Sunni and one Shiite, apparently -- and injuring at least four other people.

The Associated Press is calling the attack "the clearest evidence yet that militants can penetrate even the most secure locations" and a "stunning security breach." But it seems that U.S. and Iraqi officials weren't entirely surprised by the incursion. As the AP notes, security officials had taken the unusual step, earlier in the day, of using bomb-sniffing dogs to check people entering the parliament building.

In late March, a U.S. soldier and a U.S. contractor were killed in a rocket attack inside the Green Zone. And earlier this month, a U.S. military briefer acknowledged that two suicide-bomber vests had been found inside the Zone. "This is a challenging security environment," Rear Adm. Mark Fox said at the time. "And whether you're in the international zone or whether you're in the rest of Baghdad, we are committed to providing security for the people of Iraq."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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