As a yet new evidence of how wellthe US-Iraqi Baghdad security plan is proceeding, UN chief Ban Ki-moon flinchedafter a powerful blast sent shock waves through a building where he was givinga news conference.
"I'm confident that we'll be able to see, inthe near future, a more prosperous and secure... and a healthier future of theIraqi people and government," Ban told a joint press conference with IraqiPrime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, reported Agence France-Press (AFP).
Before he even finished the sentence, a mortar blastrocked
Ban, on his first visit to
Maliki, whose live televised events have been disruptedby bomb attacks in the past, appeared unruffled.
Seconds later, the UN chief recovered his composureand took one further question from a journalist before leaving the conferenceroom.
The loud blast sent a column of smoke and dust intothe sky near the northern edge of the Green Zone, which hosts the
An Iraqi security official said the explosion hadbeen caused by a mortar shell fired into the area. There were no initialreports of casualties.
US and Iraqi troops are waging a massive securityoperation that will see 25,000 extra troops deployed in a bid to control
On Thursday the
Ban's presence was only made public after he toucheddown in
He was quickly ushered into talks with Maliki.
"He will be meeting with parliament members andhe will be meeting different political groups' leaderships and the diplomaticcorps," local UN spokesman Said Erekat told AFP before the new conference.
It was not immediately clear if the UN chief'sagenda would be affected by what happened.
Aides said one of Ban's priorities during his
The International Compact with Iraq (ICI) initiativebetween
Last Friday, Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi laidout a five-year economic revival plan before nearly 90 countries which willreview
Ban's trip was the first by the top UN officialsince his predecessor, Kofi Annan, visited in November 2005.
The United Nations has been operating in
A bomb at the UN headquarters in
Source:AgenciesGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16