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Q&A with Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry

In an interview with The Slovak Spectator two days after the explosion, Juraj Tomaga, the spokesperson for the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry, said that he could not confirm whether Al-Quaeda was behind the attack. He did say, however, that the bombing would not change Slovakia's operations in Iraq.


The Slovak Spectator (TSS): What official information can you provide regarding the June 11 attack at Slovakia's embassy in Baghdad?

Juraj Tomaga (JT): On Saturday June 11 at 3.05 pm [local time], a suicidal attack at Slovakia's embassy in Baghdad took place. The suicide bomber blew himself up in a car that he had stopped near the concrete protection barriers in front of the Slovak embassy building. According to estimates the explosive was the equivalent of 400 to 500 grammes of TNT.

The Slovak diplomatic and security staff are safe and were not injured. Two local guards in the immediate vicinity of the explosion were hurt and transported to a local hospital for tests. Another two people hurt in the attack are believed to be accidental passers by.


TSS: Can you confirm the unofficial information that Al-Quaeda was behind the attack?

JT: We have no information based on which to say whether or not the terrorist group Al-Quaeda was behind the attack. The truth is that in Baghdad, every protected object is a potential target to suicide bombers. A special committee meets regularly at the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry that monitors the situation in Baghdad, evaluates the information and adopts respective measures.


TSS: Is it true that a meeting of CIA agents was held inside the Slovak embassy?

JT:We have no knowledge whatsoever of the alleged meeting of CIA agents on the premises of our embassy.


TSS: What safety measures did Slovakia approve in relation to the Saturday attack?

JT: The safety measures are at the highest possible levels, which are reflected in the fact that nobody was hurt [in the Saturday attack].


TSS: Will this have an impact on the activities of Slovak military personnel in Iraq? [About 100 Slovak mine clearing experts are currently in Baghdad.]

JT: I don't think so.

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