- Title: IRAQ: Baghdad blast startles UN's Ban Ki-moon on first visit to Iraq
- Date: 23rd March 2007
- Summary: (BN10) BAGHDAD, IRAQ (MARCH 22, 2007) (REUTERS- ACCESS ALL) VARIOUS OF SMOKE RISING FROM THE GREEN ZONE U.S. HELICOPTERS ABOVE THE GREEN ZONE VARIOUS OF SMOKE RISING FROM THE GREEN ZONE
- Embargoed: 7th April 2007 13:00
- Location: Iraq
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVAA2PZ16762EFNFPX0NP95HF7EQ
- Story Text: An explosion in Baghdad interrupts a news conference being given jointly by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon was left shaken but unhurt on Thursday (March 22) after a suspected rocket exploded, sending shock waves through a building where he was giving a news conference.
Ban, on his first and unannounced visit to Baghdad, ducked, grimaced and hurriedly pocketed his notes after the blast which shook the heavily fortified Green Zone where he was holding the briefing with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
Without commenting on the blast, Ban recovered his composure and took one further question from a journalist before leaving the conference room and Ban pledged UN support for the Iraqi government.
There were no details immediately available on precisely where the rocket landed, how much damage it caused and whether there were casualties.
The surprise trip came against the backdrop of more violence. Three U.S. soldiers were reported killed and rival Shi'ite gunmen clashed in Basra, Iraq's second city whose oil fields are the source of most of the country's wealth.
U.S. forces also announced the capture of a top aide to radical anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr over the killing of five American soldiers in the holy city of Kerbala in January.
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