IRAQI resistance fighters today struck a massive symbolic blow against the US-led occupation of their country.
Four landmark Baghdad hotels, used by westerners, were heavily damaged by car bombs this afternoon in a co-ordinated attack.
Reported The Guardian: "Security officials said at least 36 people were killed and more than 80 injured by attackers including suicide bombers and gunmen.
"The first bomb was detonated between the Sheraton and Palestine hotels in the centre of the capital, causing massive damage to both well-known structures.
"Around three minutes later, the Babylon hotel on the banks of the Tigris river, just south of the US embassy, was hit by a suicide bomber driving a car past the perimeter barriers. Damage was also reported to be severe.
"The final - and most audacious - attack came just two minutes later when gunmen opened fire on guards manning the gates to the Hamra hotel, which had been home to many foreign reporters since early 2005.
"In the ensuing firefight, Kurdish peshmerga soldiers, guarding the border of the presidential neighbourhood directly across the street, engaged with an unknown number of insurgents.
"Guards from the Hamra, employed by a British security firm, also opened fire. As they took defensive positions behind blast walls further inside the Hamra perimeter, a white van with a flashing red light to resemble an emergency vehicle broke through the hotel's security barriers and exploded inside the compound.
"The lower levels of the Hamra were destroyed, with the blast taking place about 30 metres from the lobby."
The blasts took place around the same time as the showcase execution of Saddam Hussein henchman Aki Hassan al-Majid and the BBC and other western media continued to gloat over the hanging of a man guilty of similar war crimes to their own leaders, despite the stark evidence that, seven years on, the war to control Iraq is still far from over.