Czech officials call for heightened security after Baghdad blast
At least 20 people are known to have been killed in Tuesday's truck bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, and many more bodies are still buried in the rubble. Tuesday's suspected suicide bombing was the most devastating attack on a UN civilian complex in the organisation's 58-year history, and has left many UN personnel in Iraq - including a team of Czech officials - contemplating their future in the country. Rob Cameron reports.
"I was sitting in my office in Saddam's former palace, working on my computer, when I heard the detonation. Within five or ten minutes all the phones started ringing, people asking if we knew something about the bomb attack against the UN force. Finally we managed to collect some information, we watched the reports on CNN, and also we tried to call around to get some information about our friends, about people we know who might have been at UN headquarters, and the news we've been getting has been worse and worse of course."
At present there are 79 Czech military policemen in Iraq, most of whom are deployed to protect the Czech Army field hospital in Basra. There are some 15 officers providing protection to Czech diplomats in Baghdad.
Janina Hrebickova will ask her government for more soldiers and more armoured vehicles to accompany members of the Czech mission to Iraq. Only this, she says, can restore the fragile sense of security that was shattered in Tuesday's bomb blast.